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Cuteness level reaches overload

Zoo News - Posted 5 June 2014

Panda Baby 3

The birth of two rare Nepalese red pandas thrilled keepers earlier this year and now that they’ve reached four-months, they are venturing out and exploring their enclosure.

“The pair and their mum are doing great,” said Hamilton Zoo Curator Samantha Kudeweh.

“Initially the cubs weren’t gaining as much weight as they should have so we started supplement feeding. That worked really well and now the pair are fit and healthy and enjoying hanging out with their extended family”.

Although it’s difficult to tell early on, Kudeweh said they are fairly confident the two cubs are both females.

“If this is the case, it means we have a nice gender mix with our juveniles, as the new cubs have three male siblings Karma, Nima and Dawa who were born last year.”

Red Pandas are found throughout the Himalayan ranges, in Western China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and India. They live in the same habitat as the giant panda and almost exclusively eat bamboo leaves and occasionally fruit, small animals, eggs and roots.

Classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union of Conservation of Nature, their population in the wild is thought to be less than 10,000 and decreasing. Deforestation and habitat fragmentation are the main threats to the survival of the species, and poaching for their beautiful fur is a major problem in China, where pelts have cultural significance.

Hamilton Zoo will soon be launching a naming competition for the new arrivals. For details keep up to date via our Hamilton Zoo Facebook page and Twitter.

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