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Friday 19 January 2018

Zoo needs names for panda pair

Valerie Loftus

DUBLIN Zoo is calling on the public to help them name their two new red panda cubs, born this year.

The cute cubs weighed 150 grams at birth, and are the third litter born to the two red pandas at the zoo.

The twins were born on July 14, but have only recently begun to venture outside their nest.

The red panda is mainly active at sunrise and sunset, so the cubs have mostly been spotted at night.

ADVENTUROUS

The two are said to have a very strong bond with their parents, Angelina and Chota.

Zookeeper Eddie O'Brien said they are doing "very well" and getting more adventurous and confident every day.

He said the zoo is "over the moon" at the birth of the cubs, given that the red panda is endangered.

Red pandas are native to the Himalayas and western China but are classified as a vulnerable species due to poaching and habitat destruction.

"Red panda numbers have declined in their native countries, but thanks to zoos and national parks those numbers have crept back up over the years," said Mr O'Brien.

"When these cubs are old enough they will be sent to other zoos to breed with other cubs," he added.

The zoo has opened up a competition to name the cubs on its Facebook page, and has hinted it would like to see names inspired by the animals' Asian origin.

The winner of the competition will get a Dublin Zoo pass for their family.

Irish Independent

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