New Panda Pair at HWP
September 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
We were delighted to show off a new panda pair at the Highland Wildlife Park today. Not the famous black and white giant pandas but another set of bamboo munching animals – a red panda duo!
Our red panda pair is made up of female Kitty and male Kevyn, at both just one year old, this colourful new couple have settled in well together.
Although naturally shy animals, the pair are very playful with each other and can be spotted following one another through the enclosure or sitting eating bamboo together.
As a threatened species in the wild, it is hoped that this young pair will go on to have cubs that will add to the European Breeding Programme to help ensure the long term conservation of the species.
Red pandas, also known as fire foxes, are natives to the Himalayas in Nepal, Bhutan, India and southern China. Their body has red fur with long bushy striped tails, pointy ears and distinctive white face markings. Red pandas are ideally adapted for life in a cold climate, with thick fuzzy fur and bear-like feet that help keep them insulated on snowy or icy ground, as well as a long bushy tail that acts like a blanket.
Although much smaller than giant pandas, they enjoy feeding on bamboo just as much, however their diet is more varied and includes fruit, roots, succulent grasses, acorns, lichens, bird eggs, insects, and grubs. Red pandas were once thought to be direct relatives of the giant pandas as they also have opposable thumbs however in reality the red panda is a relative of the racoon family.
Make sure you pay Kitty and Kevyn a visit on your next trip to the park.