International Red Panda Day
Zoo News - Posted 15 September 2017
September 16 every year is International Red Panda Day, a day to celebrate and raise awareness for these gorgeous little pandas.
There are four red pandas at Hamilton Zoo. Tayla and Chito and their offspring, Tenzing and Jamuna. Chito arrived from Auckland Zoo in 2006 and Tayla joined him from Canberra in 2010. Since being paired the two have produced eight offspring, who are now beginning to breed themselves.
Shouldn’t they be in the wild?
Unfortunately, the latest news from the Red Panda Network shows the wild isn’t the safe place that it should be for Red Panda. Last year, their status on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species regressed from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’.
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 the pelts have cultural significance.
Breeding programmes in zoos all around the world have become even more important. We agree they should be in their natural home, but we humans have made this unsafe. So the red pandas in zoo collections are ambassadors for the species, providing the opportunity to tell visitors their story and demonstrate what we can do to help.
The story of Chito and Tayla
Since Chito and Tayla were matched up in 2010 it’s been all go!
|Chito and Tayla sharing lunch|
9 December 2011: Ketu (male) was born.
Ketu went to Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York in 2013 to partner with female Tabei. In 2015 Ketu fathered sons Pumori and Rohan and in June this year he fathered another two babies, a male and female.
|Ketu||Ketu with mum Tayla (on bucket)|
20 December 2012: Triplets! Karma, Nima and Dawa (all males) were born.
Karma went to Singapore Zoo in 2014 and his brothers Nima and Dawa both went to National Zoo in Canberra in 2015.
|The triplets snuggle together||Dawa weighs in||Bedtime with mum Tayla|
12 January 2014: Khusi and Khela (females) were born.
Khusi transferred to Wellington Zoo in 2015 and sister Khela transferred to Auckland Zoo in 2017.
|Khusi and Khela||Khusi explores her new home at Wellington Zoo|
22 January 2015: Tenzing (male) and Jamuna (female) were born and remain at Hamilton Zoo for now.