Shepreth wildlife park welcomes endangered red pandas
- Credit: Archant
A wildlife park welcomed two new arrivals – a pair of endangered red pandas.
The female pandas, who have yet to be named, arrived at Shepreth Wildlife Park last week as part of the European Endangered Breeding Programme.
A native species of the Himalayas, it is thought there are only 10,000 of the animals left in the wild.
Rebecca Willers, the wildlife park’s curator, said: “I remember as a child my father talking about red pandas as a species he wanted to be involved with for conservation, so it is wonderful that while we celebrate our 30th anniversary, this long-term goal has finally come to fruition.
“We have evolved from a rescue centre over the years into a centre fully committed to education and conservation of endangered species.”
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Though not closely related to the giant panda, the red pandas take their name from their love of bamboo. A special enclosure has been constructed at the park where they can live in comfort.
Once the creatures reach maturity, one will be swapped with a male from another collection to help with the breeding programme.
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They will be unveiled to the public at 1pm on Saturday,, with Emmerdale star Jason Merrells and his partner, actress Emma Lowndes, set to attend as special guests.