September 19th is International Red Panda Day— let's welcome the first ever Red Panda to be born at Newquay Zoo in Cornwall! The tiny cub is just over seven weeks old, born to Germaine and Sandy, who have lived at the zoo for several years.
Red Pandas are typically solitary creatures, but young Red Pandas spend over a year with their mother, growing slowly and learning how to forage. Mothers build a nest in a tree hollow or rocky crevice and have litters of one to four cubs. The tiny cubs are born deaf and blind and grow slowly. They open their eyes at about 18 days old, and have their red adult fur by about 90 days old.
Red Pandas live only in the foothills of the Himalayas from western Nepal to northern Myanmar, where they can find their main food source: bamboo. With an estimated wild population of around 10,000 individuals, they are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Their main threats are habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and poaching in some areas.