Zookepers and Bedfordshire's Whipsnade Zoo celebrate tiny new arrival

The arrival was born the size of a human finger Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire is celebrating a tiny new arrival- an endangered red panda born the size of a human finger.

The cub was born just four days after the zoo reopened in June. It's grown quickly over the last few months and is now the size of a small puppy.  

The youngster has been cared for by mum Tasha in their nestbox. Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

The panda is mum Tasha's seventh baby and, despite its small size, is a huge contribution to the vital international conservation breeding program working to support the declining population of this species.

Red panda cubs are surprisingly small when they’re first born - about the size of your index finger...but the cub has grown quickly and is about the size of a small puppy now, though it will be a full year before the cub reaches adult size, it will soon begin testing its incredible climbing skills around its leafy tree-top enclosure - closely guided by mum of course.

Grant Timberlake, Deputy Team Leader, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Zookeepers will name the cub soon. Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Zookeepers say the panda will be named once its gender has been determined at its next health checks.