Fota Wildlife Park today unveiled three Red panda cubs (Ailurus fulgens fulgens) born to mother Laxmi aged 5 and father Grga aged 5.
The three cubs (one male and two female) were born on the 9th of June and have spent the past few weeks in their nesting box in the Asian Sanctuary at Fota Wildlife Park, sleeping, feeding, and being nursed by their mother. In the next two to three weeks, the cubs will start to venture outside their nesting box for brief periods in early morning or late evening under the watchful eye of their mother Laxmi.
The fulgens subspecies of the Red panda is critically endangered, it is thought that there may be as few as 2,500 mature individuals remaining in the wild. Recent estimates suggest that there has been a 50% decrease in numbers over the last 20 years alone. The successful birth of the Red panda cubs at Fota highlights the importance of Fota Wildlife Park’s participation in the international breeding programme for many species that are endangered or threatened in the wild.
The cubs’ mother Laxmi came to Fota Wildlife Park from Longleat in England in July 2019 while their father Grga came to Fota Wildlife Park from Zagreb Zoo, Croatia in June 2019. Fota Wildlife Park is now home to seven Red pandas who live in a specially designed habitat in the Asian Sanctuary. The only species of its kind in the world, the Red panda is closely related to Racoons and Coatimundis. The Red panda has long soft brownish fur with black and white marking and piercing black eyes. Its diet is mainly of bamboo and Fota Wildlife Park feeds its panda’s with its own bamboo grown within the park.
Our Lead Ranger, Julien Fonteneau said, “We are delighted to announce the birth of three panda cubs at Fota Wildlife Park. The Panda cubs who are slightly paler in colour than their parents Laxmi and Grga, are still very shy but it will not be long before they start learning how to climb trees!
This year we are celebrating 40 years of conservation in action and we have long supported and provided financial support for the Red Panda Forest Guardian Project in Nepal which is dedicated to conserving the Red panda in their natural habitat in Nepal. The Red pandas in Fota Wildlife Park belong to the Nepalese/ Indian sub-species.”
We are calling on your help to name the three baby Red Panda’s. Enter your suggestion here or in the form below and be in with a chance to win a yearlong conservation pass to Fota Wildlife Park.
The Red panda cubs join a succession of births the past few months at Fota Wildlife Park including cheetah cubs, baby ring tailed lemurs, baby black and white colobus monkeys, a bison and giraffe calf.
Following a public naming contest, the giraffe calf born at Fota on the 30th of April has been called Siobhán by Marie Downing from Ballyvolane in Cork.
For the month of August, a series of engaging and interactive events are taking place at Fota, celebrating 40 years of Fota Wildlife Park.
Learn it Lego workshops are back on the 4th and 5th of August. On August 16th Peter Dowdall will give a talk and workshop on natural connections in Fota Wildlife Park and will discuss how some animals need plants and equally how some plants need animals for their survival. The Bug Bonanza Weekend will take place on August 19th and 20th.
The summer schedule of events also includes daily wildlife talks and feeding times. All events are free with entry or admission.
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