Taronga Zoo is celebrating the birth of a red panda cub. The male cub, born in December 2010, and has now started venturing outside and is now on show to visitors. the cub has been named Seba, meaning ‘reward’ in Nepalese.
Taronga Zoo Carnivore Keeper, Deborah Price, said; “An animal birth is always a cause for celebration, but we’re particularly proud of our red panda breeding programme. We have the best breeding record in the southern hemisphere, so we’re really happy to welcome another little cub into the world.
“Red Pandas usually spend the first couple of months of their lives tucked up inside their nest boxes and we’ve been waiting and waiting to share him with Zoo visitors, but we knew he would start venturing out in his own good time, ” Ms Price added.
Red pandas are listed as a vulnerable species, with fewer than 10,000 mature individuals existing in the wild. The species live across the Himalayan mountains and foothills of northern India, China, Nepal, Indian and Bhutan. They are threatened due to illegal hunting and deforestation of their natural habitat. Remaining populations are fast becoming fragmented and isolated from each other.
The breeding program at Taronga Zoo helps ensure a future for the species by providing a safety-net against extinction for Red Pandas.?