Bristol Zoo welcomes new red panda Shifumi to its collection

  • Watch the moment Shifumi is released into her new home

A female red panda is the latest arrival at Bristol Zoo Gardens. The one-year-old came from Parc Animalier d’Auvergne in France, where she was named Shifumi, after the 'rock, paper, scissors' game.

Shifumi was due to come much earlier in 2020 but the transfer was delayed by the coronavirus lockdown. She was meant to be a mate for Bristol Zoo's 11-year-old male, Chota but he sadly died in April after a short illness.

Staff hope to arrange a new mate for Shifumi through the European conservation breeding programme.

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Special delivery - Shifumi arrives at Bristol Zoo - not particularly stylishly but certainly safe and secure. Credit: Bristol Zoo

Alan Toyne, Bristol Zoo’s team leader of small mammals, said: “Red pandas are a beautiful and popular species and we are delighted to have Shifumi finally join us. She has settled in well and is enjoying exploring and climbing to the top of the large oak tree in her paddock.

 “We hope to welcome a mate for her soon so that we can continue playing a part in the vital conservation breeding programme for this endangered species.”

Shifumi, whose species is native to the Far East, is already getting used to her new surroundings in Bristol. Credit: Bristol Zoo

Red pandas are classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They are native to the eastern Himalayas and south-western China where they are under threat from habitat loss and poaching. There are thought to be only 2,500 of them in the wild.