TIME’S RUNNING OUT FOR RED PANDA CUB SIGHTINGS AT BLACKPOOL

Sightings of Blackpool Zoo’s first ever baby red panda have been very rare and time is running out to get a last, or indeed, first look! Keepers recently confirmed that the cub, nicknamed Scarlett after the infamous Pimpernel, is a girl, which means she will leave the zoo to join another collection to continue the breeding programme for the vulnerable species. The date of her move and final location are yet to be confirmed but her short time at Blackpool has provided visitors and staff alike with hours of fun trying to spot her peeping out of the nesting box in her enclosure. Jude Rothwell, Marketing and PR Co-ordinator at Blackpool Zoo, said: “When the birth of our first red panda cub was announced everyone at the zoo was very excited. “As with any new arrival, everyone was keen to get a glimpse and it soon became apparent that only a lucky few would see her. “She is still suckling from her mother, Chesnut, at the moment and will be weaned in the coming two to three months. “Those fortunate enough to see her over the autumn and winter are in for a stunning sight as she starts to explore her surroundings. “Next year she will move to another collection to become one half of a breeding pair and play a vital role in the conservation of her species, which is fantastic.” The red panda is distantly related to the black and white panda and hails from high altitude forest habitats in Asia. Their distinctive bushy ring tails double up as wrap around blankets on chilly mountain nights. Now that the Zoo’s breeding pair, Chesnut and Jango, are accomplished parents, the award winning attraction is hoping for the pitter patter of more tiny red panda feet in the near future. -ends- Pictures show: Rare sighting of Blackpool Zoo's Red Panda cub Notes to Editors • Blackpool Zoo is owned by Parques Reunidos, the second largest European leisure parks operator and a leading world wide player. • Blackpool Zoo is home to over 1,500 mammals, birs, reptiles and invertebrates set amidst thirty-two acres of mature woodland and lakes. The zoo’s signature animals include elephants, giraffes, big cats, gorillas, orangutans, sea lions, primates, zebras and kangaroos. • Blackpool Zoo is open every day from 10am. Blackpool Zoo, East Park Drive, Blackpool, FY3 8PP. Tel: 01253 830830.

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