Endangered red panda cub settles into new home at Hampshire's Marwell Zoo

Red panda Tashi Credit: PA

A new home has been found for an endangered red panda cub - described as a “symbol of hope” by zoo keepers.

Tashi has been settling into his new home at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire.

He was born to mother Tilly at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire on 16 July last year.

His parents met thanks to the zoo being part of the European Ex-Situ Breeding Programme, which aims to create a safety net for endangered species in the wild.

The couple had tried to conceive unsuccessfully over the past four years.

Although his father, Nam Pang, died a month before he was born from Addison’s disease.

Keepers noticed that Tilly began to nest two weeks after Nam Pang’s death.

Amy Denny, animal team leader, said: “We are beyond excited to welcome Tashi to Marwell. The primates and small mammals team have been working hard to get his habitat ready for him and we can’t wait to get to know him.

“Red pandas have always been a very special part of the Marwell family and we are thrilled to have the species back for guests to enjoy and learn about.

“We will be keeping everyone updated with how Tashi settles into his new home but be sure to come and visit him during his feeding time.”

In the wild, red pandas are solitary animals that live in the trees of the Himalayas, seeking out a mate during breeding season once a year.

The species is classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List with populations continuing to decline.

A Marwell spokeswoman said that in the last 18 years, red panda populations are thought to have decreased by 50% with fewer than 10,000 left in the wild.

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