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Lakes Wildlife Park welcomes male red panda

The cute red panda was having a snooze in the sunshine Credit: ITV News Border

The Lake District Wildlife Park has taken delivery of a male red panda, in the hope that it will breed with the resident female.

'Charu' was brought over from Dublin Zoo as part of a special conservation breeding project.

The red panda conservation status has escalated from vulnerable to endangered, due to the population decreasing by 50% over the past three generations.

Charu feeding on some bamboo shoots Credit: ITV News Border

"The animals are moved from collection to collection to ensure good genetic diversity and the breeding of them.

"It's managed right across Europe with several zoos breeding them, raising funds and awareness, and also breeding a captive population of panda.

"Finally it's our turn and we've managed to get a male and female paired up together."

– Richard Robinson, Park Manager, Lake District Wildlife Park

Zoo keepers say Charu has settled in well after his journey over from Dublin and that early indications show that he's quite keen on female panda Meili.

The gestation period for red pandas is four to six months so if all goes to plan then cubs could be appearing around Spring time.

The pair of red pandas have been attracting visitors to the park Credit: ITV News Border