New-born panda cubs take a bow in public - but very slowly

Torbay Weekly

Two female red panda cubs have been born at Paignton Zoo to first-time mum, Ember.

The cute additions, who have been named Riya and Esha, have spent the first few months of their lives tucked away in their nest box with their mother. As they begin to gain more confidence, they are slowly starting to take their first steps into public view.

When red panda cubs are born their fur is completely white, and as they grow it begins to darken to the unmistakable fiery red colour that can be seen on Riya and Esha. The red pandas’ diet consists mostly of bamboo.

In the wild, red pandas are found in deciduous and coniferous forests of the eastern Himalayan Mountains and south-western China.

The birth of these cubs is particularly exciting since red pandas are classed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List: there are thought to be no more than 10,000 mature individuals remaining in the world.