Congrats to the U.K.’s Longleat Safari and Adventure Park for the birth of a new baby red panda cub. It is the first of its kind to be bred at the zoo and it is a goddamned miracle.
The baby boy is the result of a worldwide call for a male red panda to mate with potential daddy and Longleat resident Ajenda (meaning “King of the mountain”). Rufina (meaning “red-haired”), the mommy-to-be, arrived from Italy in 2013.
“We’re delighted with how well Ruffina is looking after the young cub and both mother and baby are doing brilliantly,” said zookeeper Robert Curtis. “Cubs don’t tend to start venturing out on their own for the first three months and Rufina, like all red panda mums, regularly moves the cub to different nesting areas.”
“This is perfectly natural behavior but makes keeping track of the baby, or even confirming what sex it is, somewhat problematic for us,” he said.
“The birth is particularly welcome as this particular pairing is deemed to be critical to the ongoing success of European Endangered Species Programme for the Red Panda,” said a park spokesperson in a statement.
For more pictures of the tiny boy, visit the zoo’s Facebook page.
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