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Fota Wildlife Park has announced the birth of three critically endangered Red panda cubs
Endangered Species

Three critically endangered red panda cubs born at Fota Wildlife Park in Cork

The park’s new arrivals bring continued hope for the species, which is under threat due to human interference,

FOTA WILDLIFE PARK in Cork has announced the birth of three critically endangered red panda cubs, and it is inviting the public to submit name ideas for the new arrivals. 

The three cubs, including one male and two females, were born on 9 June. 

A spokesperson for the park, which carries out conservation work in an effort to help protect endangered species, said that the cubs have spent their first few weeks in their nesting box “sleeping, feeding, and being nursed by their mother”. 

It is thought that there may be as few as 2,500 mature individuals from the fulgens subspecies of the red panda remaining in the wild. 

DK20230802 FOTA 002 One of the red panda cubs born on 9 June.

“Recent estimates suggest that there has been a 50% decrease in numbers over the last 20 years alone,” the Fota spokesperson said. 

“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,” they added. 

Laxmi, the mother of these cubs arrived at Fota Wildlife Park from England in 2019, and the father, Grga, came from Zagreb Zoo in Croatia in the same year. 

The park is now home to seven red pandas who live in a specially adapted habitat – the Asian Sanctuary. 

Fota is inviting the public to take part in welcoming its latest additions by suggesting names for them, you can submit your ideas here. 

The red panda has a diet of mainly bamboo, which Fota grows on its grounds to feed its pandas.

Red Pandas can be found living in the wild in areas of Nepal, China, Bhutan, Myanmar and India. 

They have become endangered due to the threat posed by poaching, road construction, loss of habitat due to agriculture and mining. 

Alongside conservation parks like Fota, other international organisations are working to improve red panda numbers in the wild, including the red panda network – which reported a small increase in species population in Eastern Nepal last year. 

The charity also monitors poaching, and reported that a record 37 red panda pelts were discovered by authorities in eastern Nepal in 2021, as illegal hunting was thought to be increasing across the board at the time due to rising poverty levels in the wake of the pandemic. 

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