Animals Blog

Baby Red Panda Named Meeko

Baby Red Panda Named Meeko

Fota Wildlife Park have ended the search for a name for their baby red panda who has been named Meeko .

Meeko was chosen by lead warden Kelly Lambe and fellow wardens from a shortlist taken from over 600 suggestions via the parks website. Some of the most popular names suggested were Dearg and Rua, in reference to the animal’s distinctive red fur.

Speaking about the cub’s arrival at the park Lead Warden Kelly Lambe said “The birth of a Red Panda cub is important in terms of conservation, as this species is officially classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as endangered. The park has and continues to contribute to the care and breeding of many endangered species such as the Sumatran Tiger and the Asiatic Lion.”

A unique species, the Red Panda is related to the Racoon, while the Giant Panda is related to Bears. The Red Panda is often referred to as the Firefox or Lesser Panda and is up to 120cm in length, including an impressive tail of up to 60cm long. It has long, soft reddish-brown fur with black and white markings as well as piercing black eyes, and the female is slightly smaller than the male. An arboreal species, it forages amongst branches of trees but also eats fruit, insects and small animals. Its diet is mostly made up of bamboo and the Park has always fed its Red Pandas with locally-grown bamboo that is plucked fresh on Fota Island.

Meeko was suggested by a few members of the public but it was ultimately Aisling Holmes from Cork’s entry to win the prize of a year park membership.