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Panda cubs born at Chester Zoo

A Red Panda in it's keeper's arms.
A Red Panda in it's keeper's arms. Credit: Chester Zoo

A pair of rare red panda cubs have been born at Chester Zoo.

The cubs - and their mother - have been given the once over by keepers and alls well.

News of their birth broke when keepers were alerted to their arrival after hearing “little squeaks” from a nest box.

The twins, a boy and a girl, were born to first-time mum Nima and dad Jung but keepers have only now been able to get a good look at them for the first time.

New mum, Nima.
New mum, Nima. Credit: Chester Zoo

“Our two cubs are in very good shape.

"They’re big and strong with very thick fur - our male weighed in at just under 1kg and our female 842g.

"We’re really pleased with how well they’re doing and, as soon as we had given them a health check, we popped them back into their nest.

"It’ll be several weeks until they start to emerge and explore.”

– Maxine Bradley, keeper at Chester Zoo
One of the Red Panda cub twins.
One of the Red Panda cub twins. Credit: Chester Zoo

Red pandas, whose scientific name Ailurus fulgens means ‘brilliant cat’, are native to the steep forested slopes of the Himalayas.

They are a one-of-a-kind in the animal kingdom as they have no close living relatives. Conservation experts have listed them as endangered in the wild, as they are threatened by poaching and shrinking habitat.

Red Panda dad Jung.
Red Panda dad Jung. Credit: Chester Zoo
Red Panda cub.
Red Panda cub. Credit: Chester Zoo

Watch the panda parents below:

Chester Zoo very pleased to hog top award

Warthogs at Chester Zoo
Zoo hogs top award Credit: PA

Chester Zoo is thrilled to have been named one of the world's top zoos. It's the best in the UK, second in Europe and sixth in the world.

“This is the first time we’ve won this award and we’re very, very pleased indeed – particularly as it’s voted for by those working in the travel industry who have been to the zoo, experienced what we have to offer and cast their vote on the back of their visit.

“The zoo is constantly evolving and offering visitors something different to see and experience. "

– Marketing Officer Julie Griffin


Baby lemur is zoo first

New arrival at Chester Zoo

A lemur from a species threatened with extinction has been born at Chester Zoo.

It's the first of its kind to be born there and zoo keepers are still unsure of its sex.

In the wild it's only found at a lake in Madagascar and its natural habitat is being destroyed. Only 2,500 are thought to remain there.

Curator of mammals, Tim Rowlands, said: "Both mum and dad are doing a great job of bringing up their new charge. Mum is super protective and dad is also pulling his weight - he occasionally helps to do some of the carrying.

"This is a critically endangered species. They face a very real threat of extinction in the wild and this is the first time the species has ever bred at Chester Zoo."

Bernardo's quite the spectacle at Chester Zoo.

Spectacled bears come face to face Credit: Chester Zoo

A young male bear who's arrived at Chester Zoo from the USA will be part of future plans to breed the animals. Bernado is a four year old spectacled bear, a species that's becoming vulnerable to extinction in the wild.

Bernado is part of Chester Zoo's plans to breed spectacled bears Credit: Chester Zoo

Bernado is slowly being introduced to his new companion, Chester’s resident female Franka. Tim Rowlands, the zoo’s curator of mammals, said "Spectacled bears are vulnerable species and we hope this pair will produce cubs in the future"


New home at Chester Zoo for young lizards

Settling in. This Komodo Dragon is just six months old. Credit: Chester Zoo

The three Komodo dragons have moved into their new home at Chester Zoo after arriving from Colchester.

The six-month-old youngsters can now be seen in the zoo’s Islands in Danger exhibit, which is also home to two larger dragons Jantan and Ora.

Komodo Dragons will grow become some of the largest lizards in the world. Credit: Chester Zoo.

Curator of lower vertebrates and invertebrates Dr Gerardo Garcia said: “Our feisty new trio may be small at the moment but they’ll soon grow into impressive young ladies."

Chester Zoo. Credit: PA

Chester Zoo supports conservation work with Komodo dragons on Flores, one of the Indonesian isles where the species lives in the wild.

The project helps educate people about the importance of dragons, monitors dragon numbers, sets up warden patrols and protects the local environment which is home to a wealth of animal and plant life.

A special operation for Vicky the Orangutan

There's been a very delicate operation at Chester Zoo where a 29 year old orangutan by the name of Vicky has successfully had surgery on her sinuses.

It's the first time the procedure has been done in the UK.

The 2 hour operation was carried out at Chester Zoo's on-site Animal Health Centre by the zoo's vets, colleagues from Blackpool Zoo and a human sinus expert from the nearby Nuffield Grosvenor Hospital in Chester.

Vicky, a Bornean orangutan, usually lives at Blackpool Zoo but is currently staying in Chester with three other orangutans until a new home in Blackpool is completed. The Zoo said the surgery went smoothly and Vicky should be back with the rest of her group very soon.

Chester Zoo release video of new 'Islands' project

Chester Zoo has released the first video showing what it's 30 million pound new development will look like. The Islands project has been labeled as one of the "biggest and most ambitious developments in UK zoo history."

The zoo’s development director, Simon Mann, said:

“Islands is all about immersion - transporting visitors thousands of miles away to experience the splendour of the animals, plants and cultural aspects of these far-flung places. It will take our visitors on an adventure where, for a couple of hours, they feel like they’re in South East Asia.

Islands is the biggest and most ambitious development in UK zoo history - there’s nothing else like it.

Some of the animals visitors can expect to see include, Sumatran tigers, Sulawesi macaques, Sumatran orangutans and sunda gharial crocodiles. _Islands, _will open in spring 2015.

*Video by Dan Pearlman

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