Paradise Wildlife Park is proud to announce that their endangered red panda; Tilly has given birth to a miracle cub one month after the devastating passing of her partner Nam Pang, creating a lasting legacy in his honour.
In the early hours of 16th of July on one of the hottest days in UK history, the zoo’s CCTV cameras captured the incredible moment when their red panda Tilly gave birth to a miraculous, beautiful and healthy cub. The cub is currently being called ‘little red’ until the cub is old enough to have its first health checks by the vet in the upcoming months.
The couple were part of the international breeding program, whilst they had not successfully conceived over the past four years of being together. Global fans of the couple have sent adoring messages of support, love and concern of how Tilly is coping. Red pandas are naturally solitary animals, but the keepers wanted to ensure that she continued to be comfortable and happy on her own. Whilst watching her closely, keepers noticed two weeks after his passing that she had begun to nest. This makes this miracle birth even more poignant and heart aching.
During morning checks, Tilly’s keepers noticed a small furry addition laying next to her in the nest box. The cub is still very vulnerable up to six months old but is growing well. Red panda cubs do not begin venturing out of the nest for around two to three months after birth. However, Tilly continues to be spotted by her adoring fans enjoying the sunshine and people watching across the Zoo.
Aaron Whitnall, star of the CBBC show One Zoo Three and Operations Coordinator at the zoo states: ‘This cub has become a symbol of hope, after the tragic passing of Nam Pang, for his memory and legacy to live on, is more than we ever expected.’ The birth of ‘little red’ creates a beautiful ending for a tragic heartbreaking story that shocked the community in the month of June.
The Hertfordshire zoo is part of the European Ex-Situ Breeding Program to help create a safety net for endangered species in the wild. Red Pandas are classed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List, with around less than 2,500 remaining in the wild. They are highly threatened due to deforestation and illegal pet trade, the zoo works closely with the Red Panda Network to help conserve this species.
Paradise Wildlife Park will continue to share exciting updates of Tilly and her ‘little red’ cub across their social media channels and website.