Endangered baby red panda unveiled at Edinburgh Zoo

The male kit was born in July to mother Ginger and father Bruce, both from the Netherlands.

Endangered: The red panda was born at Edinburgh Zoo. <strong>RZSS</strong>
Endangered: The red panda was born at Edinburgh Zoo. RZSS

An endangered red panda has been born at Edinburgh Zoo.

The male kit, who was born in July, had his first health check with head vet Simon Girling and keeper Leanne Deacon this week.

The red panda has been named Ruaridh, meaning red-haired king, by the People’s Postcode Lottery, whose players funded the wildlife conservation charity’s red panda enclosure in 2017.

Ruaridh mother Ginger arrived at the zoo in February 2017 from Dierenrijk in the Netherlands, and his father Bruce arrived in March 2016 from Safaripark Beekse Bergen, which is also in the Netherlands.

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Red pandas are under threat due to habitat loss thanks to timber extraction and agriculture.

Although a protected species in all the countries where they are found with the exception of Myanmar, they are still hunted illegally for their fur and in particular their long bushy tail which is highly prized as a good luck charm for Chinese newlyweds.

In China, this species occurs within many of the reserves that were established to protect the giant panda and an international breeding programme exists, with more than 230 participating zoos worldwide.

The kit will soon start to explore outside after spending his first few months in the den.


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