Longleat and Woburn welcome red pandas

An endangered red panda cub has been born at Longleat – the fourth successful birth in the last three years.

The male cub, named Turner, is particularly welcome as parents Rufina and Ajendra are important to the success of captive breeding programmes for red pandas worldwide.

Keeper Samantha Allworthy (pictured with Turner) said: “At first, we thought Rufina could be having twins again as she was so heavy; however it turned out she just had one very large, healthy baby.”

The species was officially designated as ‘Endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2008 when the global population was estimated at about 10,000 individuals.

Meanwhile, a red panda called Mambo has arrived at Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire – the second female red panda to move into a new enclosure in the Animal Encounters area of the Foot Safari.

She joins Mali who arrived at Woburn in July, and a third female will join the group later this summer.

Once they are old enough, they will be part of the European Endangered Species Programmes breeding programme.