Rare Baby Red Panda That ‘Gave Hope’ for Endangered Species Effort Gets its First Exam

Rare Baby Red Panda That ‘Gave Hope’ for Endangered Species Effort Gets its First Exam

A rare red panda cub born this summer was seen as a hopeful sign for the future of this critically endangered species—and it passed its very first health check this week with flying colors.

The baby was born to mother Tilly and father Nam Pang at Paradise wildlife park in Hertfordshire, England—and the zoo had been waiting to ascertain its sex before naming the cute bundle of fluff.

They’ll have to wait a little longer to complete the birth certificate, though, because the ginger fur ball was so fidgety that the ‘delicate’ procedure was impossible.

The zoo team decided, anyway, to name it Little Red.

This was the first time a veterinarian had visited the cub, and the tests revealed Little Red is in good health. Aside from the fidgeting, the health check was completed without a hitch. (See the video below…)

The birth in July was a bittersweet event that came just a month after Nam Pang’s sudden passing. The zoo had been trying to breed the pair for four years, as part of the European Ex Situ Breeding Program, an initiative whereby endangered species are bred in captivity in order to ensure the continuation of the species.

The program soon achieved success when closed circuit cameras captured the surprise birth.

The Zoo hailed it as a miracle, with operations coordinator Aaron Whitnall saying, “This cub has become a symbol of hope, after the tragic passing of Nam Pang.”

Animal experts say the first six months of a red panda’s life are the most critical, and Little Red is being monitored even as he appears boisterous and strong.

The population of red pandas has decreased over the last 20 years, with the WWF stating there are currently less than 10,000 left in the wild, due to their illegal capture as pets and a dramatic reduction in their habitat.