October 4, 2022

Endangered red panda gives birth to cub at UK wildlife park just months after death of partner

‘Miracle’ ball of cuteness! Endangered red panda gives birth to adorable cub ‘Little Red’ at UK wildlife park just months after the tragic death of her partner Nam Pang

  • Tilly gave birth to the healthy cub in the early hours of July 16 in Hertfordshire
  • Paradise Wildlife Park’s CCTV cameras captured the incredible moment
  • Tilly and Nam Pang were part of the zoo’s international breeding programme
  • Global fans of the pair have sent messages of support, love and concern to Tilly

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An endangered red panda has given birth to a miracle cub at a UK wildlife park just months after the devastating passing of her partner.

Tilly gave birth for the first time in eight years to a healthy cub in the early hours of July 16, one of the hottest days in UK history, at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire.

The zoo’s CCTV cameras captured the incredible moment when the cub – currently being called ‘little red’ until they are old enough to have their first health checks by the vet in the upcoming months, which will also determine their sex – was born.

The birth follows the heartbreaking death of Tilly’s partner and the father of ‘little red’ Nam Pang in June, creating a lasting legacy in his honour.

An endangered red panda has given birth to a miracle cub (pictured) just one month after the devastating passing of her partner

Tilly (pictured) gave birth to a healthy cub in the early hours of July 16, one of the hottest days in UK history, at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire

Tilly (pictured) gave birth to a healthy cub in the early hours of July 16, one of the hottest days in UK history, at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire

Tilly (pictured) gave birth to a healthy cub in the early hours of July 16, one of the hottest days in UK history, at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire

The birth follows the heartbreaking death of Tilly's partner and the father of 'little red' Nam Pang (pictured) in June, creating a lasting legacy in his honour

The birth follows the heartbreaking death of Tilly's partner and the father of 'little red' Nam Pang (pictured) in June, creating a lasting legacy in his honour

 The birth follows the heartbreaking death of Tilly’s partner and the father of ‘little red’ Nam Pang (pictured) in June, creating a lasting legacy in his honour

The couple were part of the zoo’s international breeding programme but had struggled to conceive over the past four years of being together.

Fans of the pair have sent messages of support and love to Tilly from across the world, as well as concern for how she is coping.

Red pandas are naturally solitary animals, but the keepers wanted to ensure that she continued to be comfortable and happy on her own after the passing of her partner.

It was while watching her closely that keepers noticed two weeks after his death that she had poignantly begun to nest in preparation for the upcoming newborn.

During morning checks, Tilly’s keepers noticed a small furry addition laying next to her in the nest box.

The cub is still very vulnerable up to six months old but is growing well.

The zoo's CCTV cameras captured the incredible moment when the cub - currently being called ‘little red’ until they are old enough to have their first health checks by the vet in the upcoming months - was born

The zoo's CCTV cameras captured the incredible moment when the cub - currently being called ‘little red’ until they are old enough to have their first health checks by the vet in the upcoming months - was born

The zoo’s CCTV cameras captured the incredible moment when the cub – currently being called ‘little red’ until they are old enough to have their first health checks by the vet in the upcoming months – was born

Red panda cubs do not begin venturing out of the nest for around two to three months after birth

Red panda cubs do not begin venturing out of the nest for around two to three months after birth

Red panda cubs do not begin venturing out of the nest for around two to three months after birth

During morning checks, Tilly’s keepers noticed a small furry addition laying next to her in the nest box

During morning checks, Tilly’s keepers noticed a small furry addition laying next to her in the nest box

During morning checks, Tilly’s keepers noticed a small furry addition laying next to her in the nest box

Red panda cubs do not begin venturing out of the nest for around two to three months after birth.

But Tilly continues to be spotted enjoying the sunshine and people watching across the Zoo by her adoring fans.

Aaron Whitnall, star of the CBBC show One Zoo Three and Operations Coordinator at the zoo, said: ‘This cub has 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.’

'Little red' is Tilly's first birth in eight years. Her late partner Nam Pang is the cub's father

'Little red' is Tilly's first birth in eight years. Her late partner Nam Pang is the cub's father

 ‘Little red’ is Tilly’s first birth in eight years. Her late partner Nam Pang is the cub’s father

The cub is still very vulnerable up to six months old but is growing well

The cub is still very vulnerable up to six months old but is growing well

The cub is still very vulnerable up to six months old but is growing well

Red Pandas are classed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List, with around less than 2,500 remaining in the wild

Red Pandas are classed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List, with around less than 2,500 remaining in the wild

Red Pandas are classed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List, with around less than 2,500 remaining in the wild

The Hertfordshire zoo is part of the European Ex-Situ Breeding Programme to help create a safety net for endangered species in the wild.

Red pandas are classed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List, with around less than 2,500 remaining in the wild.

The animals are highly threatened due to deforestation and illegal pet trade.

The zoo works closely with the Red Panda Network to help conserve this species.

Paradise Wildlife Park will continue to share exciting updates of Tilly and her ‘little red’ cub across their social media channels and website, including a live red panda camera next Tuesday (August 23).

Breeding programme that helped Tilly and Nam Pang conceive their little ‘miracle’ – as number of red pandas left in wild drops to 2,500

The European Ex-Situ Breeding Programme helps create a safety net for endangered species in the wild by having and maintaining healthy populations of healthy animals in captivity.

It is a population management programme for animals of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), with other breeding programmes existing in different regions across the world.

The programme aims to provide a future the planet’s most vulnerable species.

A coordinator and a Species Committee work together to collect and produce information on the animals and plan for their futures.

Recommendations are made on topics such as whether a creature should breed or if they should be moved to another zoo.

This regular exchange of animals helps in realising healthy populations, for example by diversifying the gene pool or encouraging the fittest individuals to mate.

Conservation work as well as education on natural habitats and destructive behaviours are also features of the programme.

Red pandas are classed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List, with around less than 2,500 remaining in the wild.

The animals are found in the Eastern Himalayas in countries such as China, Nepal and Bhutan, spending most of their time in trees.

The species is highly threatened due to deforestation and illegal pet trade, with numbers in the wild thought to have dropped by as much as 50 per cent in the last 20 years to just 2,500 remaining animals, according to Red Panda Network.

Consequently, Tilly and Nam Pang were some of the animals at Paradise Wildlife Park that were part of the international breeding programme.

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