Red Pandas arrive at Flamingoland

One of the new arrivals at Flamingoland Credit: Flamingoland

A pair of 18 month old Red Pandas have arrived at a North Yorkshire zoo as part of an international breeding programme.

The male is called Bai Jiao and the female Tai Jang and staff at Flamingoland are hoping that the animals , which look like racoons will have babies in the future.

Despite its name it is not related to the Giant Panda .

The only similarities between them are that they are both native to China, their diet consists mainly of bamboo, and they have a modified wrist bone which can be used as an extra thumb.

One of the new arrivals at Flamingoland Credit: Flamingoland

Red Pandas are natively found in several countries in the Himalayas, and they therefore need to have thick fur to keep them warm.

The trees where they would live are often covered in red moss, so their red fur helps them to camouflage against predators, such as the Snow Leopard.

They also have white fur on their face around their eyes, nose and ears. They have a long bushy tail which they would use for balancing on trees whilst they climb.

Due to the poor nutrients the Red Panda obtains from the bamboo, it is only active for about half of the day, and this would usually be at dawn and dusk. For the remainder of the time the Red Panda would often be found in the trees sleeping.

Flamingo Land's award winning Zoo is open at weekends and school holidays during the Winter, and visitors can find these Red Pandas in an enclosure next to the Sumatran tigers. The theme park opens again daily from 29th March 2014.