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Swedish zoo in awe over 'adorable' baby pandas

Swedish zoo in awe over 'adorable' baby pandas

Published: 10 Jul 2012 15:21 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Jul 2012 15:21 GMT+02:00

Two red panda cubs have been born at a Swedish wildlife park, having been specially bred for reintroduction into the Indian wilderness, zoologists confirmed Tuesday.

“They’re two little baby red pandas and they’re absolutely adorable,” said zoologist Ewa Wikberg from the Nordens Ark wildlife park to The Local.

“But the veterinarian hasn’t come to checked them out yet, so we still don’t know if they’re boys or girls.”

Nordens Ark, which is situated some 80 kilometres north of Gothenburg in Sweden’s west, hasn’t had a panda birth for five years, which makes the event “even more special”.

Wikberg explained that the pandas, which were born in late June, are still blind, though are expected to open their eyes soon.

“There’s been a really positive reaction so far, both from our visitors and on the telephone. These pandas have got more attention than anything else we’ve ever had at the park,” Wikberg explained.

The red panda, also known as the lesser panda, exists in 85 European animal parks and these two mark the 14th and 15th that have arrived at the Swedish park since it opened in 1989.

“In all of Europe and Russia, there were only eight litters last year, so we’re really excited that these two were born here in Sweden,” Wikberg said.

The pandas are being bred in correlation with the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) which is fighting to preserve the population of the lesser panda in the Indian wild and has been running since 1996.

Even though Wikberg explains that the knowledge about pandas in captivity is large, very little is known about their habits in the wild.

The EEP has sent several pandas to India for release into the while since the programme’s inception, all of which have been trained to survive in the wild.

However, the public will have to wait to get a glimpse of these two tiny pandas, as they will not be on display until the mother is ready to let them out of the den.

“It mostly depends on how protective the mother is and we’ve never seen her ‘motherly personality’ before, so we can’t be sure,” Wikberg told The Local.

“But it also depends on how pushy the babies are. If they are bossy and ready to explore, we can expect them on show by mid-August.”

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:46 July 11, 2012 by karex
I sure hope that they weren't born at the zoo in Borås. If some will remember a couple of years ago they made a big deal about the birth of lion cubs only to sacrifice them a week later when the mother was indifferent instead of taking time to bottle-feed them.
17:23 July 11, 2012 by Åskar
If you had read the article you would have understood what it's all about.

As for the lion cubs you mentioned zoos all over the World each year have far moore animals born than they can keep or place somewhere else, so they are eventually culled when they aren't cute anymore and if these cubs had been born in the wild they would have died anyway so there's really no need to work up a fuss over them. That's just how nature works.
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