Rare red panda cub shows her face to staff and visitors at Banham Zoo

Red panda cub at Banham Zoo. Picture: Banham Zoo.

Red panda cub at Banham Zoo. Picture: Banham Zoo. - Credit: Archant

It has taken three long months but this adorable red panda cub has finally said hello to staff and visitors at Banham Zoo.

Red panda cub at Banham Zoo. Picture: Banham Zoo.

Red panda cub at Banham Zoo. Picture: Banham Zoo. - Credit: Archant

Although born in July, she had not ventured out of her nest box as young red pandas spend the first few months of their life safely tucked away.

But the wait was worth it when the fluffy cub – who is yet to be named – decided to show her face.

The youngster will now start to join her parents, Maggie and Jasper, in the enclosure so visitors can see the endangered species.

Mike Woolham, animal manager at the zoo, said: 'We are delighted to have bred red pandas again, they are a flagship species for other lesser known species that live in south-east Asia and we hope that our latest arrival may throw the spotlight on the plight of this species and others that are under severe threat in this region.'

Red panda cub at Banham Zoo. Picture: Banham Zoo.

Red panda cub at Banham Zoo. Picture: Banham Zoo. - Credit: Archant

Native to China, India, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal, red panda numbers are estimated to have declined by as much as 50pc over the last 18 years due to huge habitat loss, increased human activity and poaching.

The cute cub will spend at least the next year at Banham before being transferred to another zoo to help ensure the species continues to thrive in captivity.

For more information about the zoo visit http://www.banhamzoo.co.uk/

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