Panda to me, baby!
Wednesday 17 August 2005
Whipsnade is delighted to announce the birth of two red pandas, continuing ZSL’s fantastic breeding record for this endangered species.
Proud parents Gerri and Ulysses welcomed the new additions about eight weeks ago and although still unnamed, the babies are settling into family life extremely well.
They are still too small to move about by themselves but mum is looking after them and ensuring that they get a good glimpse of the outside world by carrying them.
Gerri is also feeding them at the moment, but in time she will introduce them to an adult diet of leaf eater pellets, high fibre gruel and bamboo.
Baby red pandas are born white and at eight weeks the new arrivals are now just starting to develop their distinctive red colouring and facial markings.
Red pandas are much smaller than giant pandas and resemble racoons in both size and appearance. Adults weigh between three and six kilograms and spend most of their time in trees.
They are found in the forests of India, Nepal and China, and are endangered as a result of habitat destruction and fragmentation due to agriculture and timber extraction.
The average gestation period for a red panda is approximately 90 to 150 days and females typically bear between one and four babies