The little male cub who was born on the 8th of July is the first Red Panda born in the park since June 1993 making it one of the most significant births in the park this year. The birth came as a welcome surprise according to the park's Director Sean McKeown "the male red panda Bamboo who is 15 years old is one of the oldest red panda in Europe to breed, was due to go on retirement to the continent with the female Binthy who came from the Netherlands in Oct 2008 to be paired with a new male from Germany, however these moves will now be reviewed given the successful breeding."
The birth of the cub has proven difficult for its 4 year old mother according to Mr McKeown "unfortunately Binthy was unable to produce enough milk for the cub, as a result we took it into care to make sure it got enough nourishment to enable it to survive and we are now feeding her every 4 hours and the good news is that she is doing very well." The little cub however has not been alone over the last few weeks; it has been spending time with its new best friend a toy polar bear.
This weekend you will be able to see the cub face to face as it will be on view to the public at the incubation centre in the park. The park are looking for school kids to come up with a name for the little red panda and have a fantastic prize up for grabs for the best name.
The child with the best name for the cub will get a VIP behind the scenes tour, membership and exclusive goodie bag from the park. All kids have to do is visit NAME THE BABY RED PANDA and enter the competition before Friday 24th of September.
The Red Panda, also called the Firefox or Lesser Panda is a mostly herbivorous mammal, favouring bamboo as its main food choice is native to the Himalayas in Bhutan, southern China, Pakistan, India, Laos, Nepal, and Burma. The inaugural International Red Panda Day is taking place on Saturday November 13, 2010 and Fota Wildlife Park is holding a special event to help the Red Panda Network make a difference for red panda in the wild.
The Red Panda isn't the only new addition at the park, visitors now have the opportunity to see the first phase of the new development with the parks new plaza now open. This entry plaza comprises of new ticket kiosks, playground, gift store and cafe all of which are now open to the public.