Endangered red panda cub settling into new home at Hampshire zoo

Red panda Tashi has a new home at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire (Paradise Wildlife Park/PA)
Red panda Tashi has a new home at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire (Paradise Wildlife Park/PA)

A new home has been found for an endangered red panda cub which made headlines when he was born following the death of his father at a UK zoo.

Tashi was born to mother Tilly at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire in July last year although father Nam Pang died the previous month from Addison’s disease.

The animals 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, with keepers noticing that Tilly began to nest two weeks after Nam Pang’s death.

Now Tashi, a male, has been given a new home at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire.

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.