Words by Smiley Team
The first red panda cub was born at a UK zoo after a four-year breeding scheme came to fruition.
Mother Tilly gave birth to Little Red on 16 July 2022, all captured on CCTV by excited keepers. The birth of Little Red, dubbed a ‘symbol of hope’ for the species, is an incredible win for the species – and the team at Paradise Wildlife Park, a charity in Hertfordshire.
Despite that, the birth of Little Red was bittersweet.
A month before Tilly gave birth, her partner, Nam Pang, passed away from Addison’s disease. The red panda breeding programme had been going on for four years with no success, until Little Red came along.
Aaron Whitnall, the operations coordinator at Paradise Wildlife Park, where Little Red was born, said the cub had become “a symbol of hope, after the tragic passing of Nam Pang, for his memory and legacy to live on is more than we ever expected.”
With fewer than 10,000 red pandas remaining in the wild, red pandas are classed as an endangered species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list.
The wildlife park is part of the European Ex-Situ Breeding Program to help create a safety net for endangered species in the wild.
They're highly threatened due to deforestation and illegal pet trade, the park works closely with the Red Panda Network to help conserve and protect this species.
GET INVOLVED: Get involved with the Paradise Wildlife Park and its conservation efforts.
DONATE: Give to the Red Panda Network to help protect this incredible species in the wild.