Rare red pandas make friends at Newquay Zoo

Newquay Zoo’s resident red panda, Seren, has a new friend in the shape of 11-month-old red panda Sundara.

While red pandas are shy by nature, the two females have already been spotted together, high up in the trees of their enclosure.

Red pandas, which are native to forests and mountains ranging from northern Myanmar to Western Nepal, spend most of their life in trees. And while they belong to a group of carnivorous mammals, they mainly feed on bamboo shoots and leaves, along with some fruits and blossoms.

Megan McEvoy, Newquay Zoo Carnivore Keeper, said: “After losing male red panda Rowan last year, we were keen for Seren to have a new companion to share her enclosure with.

“Sundara is just 11-months-old and full of energy, keeping our older female Seren on her toes. She is a little shy, but inquisitive, and she loves exploring the highest branches in her enclosure.”

Red pandas are classed as endangered in the wild, due to deforestation, poaching, hunting for fur, and for use in the pet trade. However, Newquay Zoo is part of a breeding programme to help increase the number of red pandas in captivity, and has had great success with red panda cubs in the past. The team at Newquay hopes that Sundara might be part of a breeding pair when she is older.

Both red pandas can be found in their tree-filled enclosure in the middle of Newquay Zoo. If they aren’t immediately visible, then visitors are advised to look up!