Newborn red panda twins at Isle of Wight's Amazon Zoo die aged less than two weeks old

Female red panda Xiao-xing gave birth to twins but both cubs have passed away, leaving staff "extremely upset". Credit: Amazon World Zoo Park

Two newborn red pandas have died at a zoo on the Isle of Wight, aged under two weeks old, leaving staff "extremely upset".

Female red panda Xiao-xing gave birth to the twins at Amazon World Zoo Park in Newchurch on Tuesday, May 31.

The zoo said it has spent the last few months preparing for the arrival of the cubs and installed cameras in the panda nest boxes.

Keepers had be monitoring Xiao's weight gain throughout the pregnancy and knew when the birth was imminent because she started nest building the week before.

Xiao gave birth at 10.04pm and 11.11pm, and the labour was watched by senior keepers via the camera with "much excitement".

The zoo said both cubs and Xiao appeared bright and strong after birth, and they were pleased that the twins were seen in the correct position for suckling.

However, one of the cubs passed away at just 2 days old in the early hours of Thursday, June 2.

The newborn, a little girl weighed in below the 100g expected birth weight of a baby pandas.

The zoo added that Xiao spent all her time in her nest box looking after her other cub and was doing "everything correctly".

The cub was seen regularly suckling and "appeared to be developing well, growing in size, becoming more vocal and moving around the nest box more and more each day".

Senior keepers continued to check the nest box cameras through the night to check all appeared well.

But Xiao became very distressed on the evening of Sunday, June 12.

Keepers aid that after monitoring her on the cameras it was apparent that the second cub, also a little girl, had passed away at 13 days old.

They said: "although keepers try and prepare themselves for occasions like this it always comes as a huge blow and our staff are extremely upset by this loss."

The zoo added that Xiao continues to spend much of her time in her nest box moving the bedding around and continues to look for her cubs.

"It will take time for her to settle and keepers will continue to monitor her closely over the next few weeks"