The first of three fluffy female red pandas has arrived at Woburn Safari Park and moved into her beautiful new pad in the Foot Safari.
Red pandas are classified as ‘endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), as there are now believed to be only around 2,500 left in the wild.
Keepers were delighted to meet the adorable new arrival earlier this month, when one-year-old Mali the red panda moved into her specially designed house, complete with a scenic outdoor play area and bamboo garden.
She is the first of three young females to arrive this summer, as Woburn Safari Park announces the arrival of the red panda species, adding to the 80+ species of wild animal residents living at the park.
This coming week will see the arrival of bachelorette number two, another one-year old female named Mambo, coming from Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park.
Keepers have named the luxury red panda accommodation ‘Himalayan Heights’ and Mali can be seen exploring her new home, which has a waterfall, climbing frame and nest boxes.
Visitors will be able to spot Mali through the viewing windows or in the large outdoor area, equipped with roped ladders, shelves and a walkway for her to travel right over the visitors’ heads and access the indoor enclosure.
Laura Ashton, senior keeper at Woburn Safari Park said: “We are all extremely excited to welcome Mali. She is already very confident and regularly comes outside to greet the keepers at feeding time.
“Red pandas spend most of their time off the ground so it is a good idea for visitors to look up when searching for her. Although Mali currently has a very light coloured face, this will change as the red rings in her fur get darker with age.”
Red pandas originate from the Himalayas and the main threat to their survival comes from habitat destruction due to deforestation.