We are delighted to announce that a tiny pair of endangered red panda cubs have been born here at the Zoo just ahead of their mum’s 4th birthday today (Wednesday, 26th July).
Keepers found the two adorable additions nestled together shortly after their birth on 19th June.
Mum, Alina, and dad, Tao Tao, who successfully raised two cubs in 2021, are caring for their young without any intervention, so the gender of the pair is yet to be confirmed.
Red pandas breed in spring and summer, and cubs are totally dependent on their mother for the first three to four months until they start venturing out of the nest.
Luke Forster, Deputy Section Manager at Blackpool Zoo said: “It is wonderful to see Alina and Tao Tao become parents for the second time after they successfully raised two cubs in 2021.
“It will be a few more weeks before visitors are able to see the cubs, but we couldn’t wait to share the news!
“The species is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List, with numbers still declining due to the loss of habitat from deforestation and the expansion of agriculture in their native Asian forests, meaning they are two very special babies.”
Red pandas are native to the Eastern Himalayas and spend most of their lives in trees, including when sleeping. Often associated with the giant panda, they are actually more closely related to the racoon. They are smaller than people might expect – only the size of a typical house cat, with a long, bushy tail that can add up to 18 inches to their length.