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Days out in the Cotswolds - Batsford Arboretum

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New arrivals at Cotswold Wildlife Park - with video

New arrivals at Cotswold Wildlife Park

Meet Ralph and Rufus - two adorable rare Red Panda twins born at Cotswold Wildlife Park.

After three months secluded in their nest box, Ralph and Rufus have finally emerged from their den, making their public debut at the Park (more information attached).

Like the Giant Panda (their distant relative), female Red Pandas are fertile for just one day a year. Newborns are born blind and helpless, opening their eyes at around eighteen days. Sadly, infant mortality rates are high for this species, so these new births are exciting news for the European Breeding Programme (EEP) in which Cotswold Wildlife Park participates.

Described as "the 19th most globally threatened species" by the Edge of Existence Programme, it is believed that fewer than ten thousand Red Pandas remain in the wild. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified this species as "Vulnerable" (considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild).

The twins father Doodoo is the grandson of the Park's original breeding female (who was retired in 2010).

Explore Gloucestershire
19 October 2015

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