Adorable new pictures of red panda cubs at Paignton Zoo

Panda cubs Paignton Zoo
A rare red panda cub born at Paignton Zoo stares out at the world Credit: Paignton Zoo

New pictures of two adorable red panda cubs have been shared by Paignton Zoo.

First-time mum Ember gave birth to the female cubs back in June.

The cute new additions, who have been named Riya and Esha, spent the first few months of their lives tucked away in their nest box with their mother.

When red panda cubs are born their fur is completely white, and as they grow it begins to darken to the unmistakable fiery red colour that can already be seen on Riya and Esha.

The red pandas’ diet consists mostly of bamboo, which is supplemented with vegetables and dry feed pellets at Paignton Zoo.

There are only around 10,000 red pandas now living in the wild, so the arrival of this one at Paignton Zoo is hugely important. Credit: Paignton Zoo
One of the newly born red panda cubs exploring its new home at Paignton Zoo Credit: Paignton Zoo

In the wild, the animals are found in forests of the eastern Himalayan Mountains and south-western China.

The birth of these cubs is important because red pandas are classed as endangered. There are thought to be no more than 10,000 mature individuals remaining in the world.

Their numbers are declining due to poaching for fur and pet trades, competition from domestic livestock and loss of habitat.