News Blog

Fota Announces the Name for its Red Panda Cub

After a 2 week search which resulted in nearly 1500 suggestions, Fota Wildlife Park in Cork is delighted to announce the name of its Red Panda Cub; Dearg meaning Red.

Dearg whose sex is yet to be determined was born in June and is only the second Red Panda born in the park in 21 years making it one of the most significant births in Fota Wildlife Park this year. The opportunity to name the cub seemed to be a big hit with suggestions coming in from all over the world including many from the US, UK and even as far as New Zealand.

In the end the park narrowed it down to 3 of the most popular names suggested which included Dearg, Rusty and Rebel, with the wardens looking after the cub opting for Dearg. The chosen name was suggested by 43 people so Fota Wildlife Park did a random draw and picked out Sinead Philips from Gorey, Co Wexford as the winner of a VIP behind the scenes tour and annual membership to the park.

Dearg is the first cub for 3 year old Bonnie who originally came from Dublin Zoo and Dad Pete who is 5 years old. Like all Red Pandas it can be seen best around dawn or dusk as that is the time when they are most active.

The Red Panda is native to the Himalayas in Bhutan, southern China, Pakistan, India, Laos, Nepal, and Burma but it is believed that less than 2500 remain in the wild. To help stop their decline Fota Wildlife Park contributes to the EEP (European Endangered Species Programme) Forest Guardian Project which employs forest guardians to protect Red Pandas in Chintapu Community Forest at Maimajhuwa VDC in Nepal.

Two of the Forest Guardians recently sent a letter to Fota Wildlfe Park thanking the park for its support.

Letter from Indra Bahadur Gurung, Chintapu Community Forest, Maimajhuwa, Ilam

My name is Indra Bahadur Gurung. I am forest guardian of Chintapu Community Forest at Maimajhuwa VDC, Ilam since 2008. I am chosen as forest guardian by the board of Chintapu Community Forest. The reasons for choosing me as forest guardian are I have good knowledge about our forest and I can manage my time for monitoring of the forest and red panda. I was interested to be a forest guardian to save red pandas when I learned that the red panda is endangered in the world. 
The salary of forest guardian provided by Red Panda Network is supporting me to fulfill my household expenses and school fee of my children. In my half decade of monitoring experience, the condition of the habitat has been improved and the number of red panda has been increased in our forest. It is due to the conservation of red panda’s food bamboo, control in poaching activities in forest and raise of conservation awareness among the forest users.      

Letter from FG Panjo Sherpa

Hi, I am Panjo Sherpa, forest guardian of Deurali Conservation Community Forest, Yamphudin-2. I am studying at grade 12. I have been involved in Red Panda Network since 2 years. Himali Conservation Forum used to organize different conservation related programs and activities at my village and I came in contact with them. When they wanted to hire some local forest guardians for research and take care of Red Panda. I have shown interest upon it and they selected me during their meeting.
I used to listen about Red Panda since my childhood that it is shy and endangered animal and also I learn about its importance during the meetings and workshops organized by RPN. I also got inspiration from the members of Kangchenjunga Conservation Area during my work. The salary of forest guardian provided by RPN is supporting me to continue my study.
After joining the work as forest guardian I knew about the importance of wildlife and forest for the living beings. Red Panda is on critical condition and is on need of conservation. It cannot be conserve with only single organization and person but it need to be conserve with the collaboration from the government, NGOs and INGOs.