A female red panda is the latest arrival here at Bristol Zoo.
The one-year-old red panda, named Shifumi, has joined us from Parc Animalier d’Auvergne in France, where she was named after the popular game “rock, paper, scissors”.
Keepers are delighted to finally meet Shifumi, after her much anticipated arrival was delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
But her arrival is also bittersweet as Shifumi was set to be a mate for our red panda, Chota, 11, who sadly died in April after a short illness.
We are now liaising with the coordinator of the European conservation breeding programme for red pandas, to receive a male so we can have a red panda breeding pair once again.
Alan Toyne, Bristol Zoo’s team leader of small mammals, said: “Red pandas are a beautiful and popular species and we are delighted to have Shifumi finally join us. She has settled in well and is enjoying exploring and climbing to the top of the large oak tree in her paddock.
“We hope to welcome a mate for her soon so that we can continue playing a part in the vital conservation breeding programme for this endangered species.”
Native to the eastern Himalayas and south-western China, red pandas are classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The wild population is thought to be as low as 2,500 individuals, threatened by habitat loss and poaching.
The red panda exhibit at Bristol Zoo Gardens is kindly sponsored by Etherton Education.