Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, Kent’s largest wild animal park have welcomed a red panda male, named Siwan, as part of a breeding programme designed to help boost the numbers of the dwindling wild population.
Keepers hope that eight year old Siwan – who arrived from a wild animal park in Europe, will hit it off with resident female Wanmei, who has been living the life of a batchelorette, since her previous companion passed away.
Simon Jeffery, Animal Director at Port Lympne Reserve said: ‘Siwan is a lovely red panda, he’s already started venturing out to explore his leafy new habitat. By nature, red pandas are solitary animals that only come together during mating season, so for now Wanmei and Siwan are getting to know each other from a distance, although Wanmei has been showing Siwan who’s boss at feeding times.’
Red pandas share the same habitat as the iconic giant panda but they have a wider range. They can be found in the mountains of Nepal, Myanmar and central China. Like the giant panda, red pandas eat bamboo, however their diet is more varied than that of their larger counterpart and includes fruit, nuts, roots and eggs.
Red panda are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the population in the wild is decreasing. Loss of habitat, hunting and climate change are all listed as factors contributing to the decline in wild numbers.
For further information, including opening times, special events and entry prices please visit www.aspinallfoundation.org/portlympne