Exmoor Zoo are Turning Red and not just because Halloween is coming. The Zoo is excited to home two Red Pandas who are settling in well right now!
Director Danny Reynolds said “They will certainly feel at home with our Exmoor winters. Like Nepal, we rarely go a winter without snow. Hopefully, this will encourage them to breed and contribute to the European breeding programme which we are excited to be a part of.
Red Pandas have been masquerading as panda bears for years. In fact, they are not pandas and not bears either! Scientists, as late as last year, finally classified them as closer relatives to skunks than to pandas, despite their name!
This pair of Red Pandas have come from Bristol Zoo Gardens. Three-year-old female Shifumi and two-year-old male Pan are part of the European breeding programme for Red Pandas which are Endangered species.
A falling global population is currently estimated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at just 10,000. The Himalayan mountains of Nepal and northern Myanmar, as well as central China is the natural range for the Red Panda. Unfortunately, these areas are subject to logging, with the spread of agriculture reducing their natural habitat.
The Red Panda’s fur helps to camouflage this intriguing animal against the reddish-brown moss covering fir trees within their range. This helps to avoid detection from predators such as snow leopards. They also have a fake thumb which is an extension of their wrist bone. This assists them with climbing bamboo which they are keen on. They eat around 30% of their body weight of a day and they are getting through lots of bamboo at the Zoo already.
You can meet the Red Pandas this Halloween, when Exmoor Zoo will literally be ‘Turning Red’, ready to entertain your little Vampires with various creepy and crafty activities during half term.
And here is a spooky fact for you, the Red Panda, according to shamanism, can see through masks, and understand who you really are! Shifumi and Pan are sure to be put through their paces with all your wonderful Halloween costumes!
Enjoy a day out in the North-west of Exmoor at Exmoor zoo, one of the “West-country’s hidden gems” on the edge of the National Park. Here you can experience a truly unique rural zoo set into a valley in North Devon. Discover rare and unusual animals seldom found in other zoos like…