twin red panda cubs died

Twin Red Panda Cubs Died at Safari Park

The big freeze in Britain has killed two twin red panda cubs at the Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire. On Thursday morning, the staff at the safari park discovered the two red pandas in their nesting box. Before the big freeze, the team increased their diet intake and added additional shelter and bedding. Yet, this was not enough.

The staff believes the twin red pandas, Tala and Sumi, died from being weaned, not hyperthermia. Their mother, Emma, started the weaning process, where she was no longer supplementing feeding them. The cubs still heavily relied on their mom, which could have contributed to their deaths.

In the wild, red pandas can endure temperatures of -15C / 5F. The temperatures at Longleat Safari Park Wednesday into Thursday dropped to -7C/19F and -8C/17.6F. The twin panda cubs should have been able to withstand the cold temperatures.

Red Pandas in the Wild

Tala and Sumi were born in the summer and first introduced to the public in September at ten weeks old. The twin red panda cubs were successful breeding offsprings of Emma and Lionel. They are part of the breeding program for the endangered species at the Wiltshire wildlife attraction. The two twin red panda cubs were the seventh and eighth successful red pandas born at the safari park. Their previous pandas have been sent to other places in Europe and had their own cubs.

mom with twin panda cubs

Red pandas are found in Nepal, Bhutan, and China in bamboo forests. Like their cousins, the giant pandas, bamboo makes up 2/3 of their food intake. Most of their time is spent eating or sleeping, and they are solitary animals. It is estimated that there are as few as 10,000 red pandas left in the world and only 2,500 live in the wild.

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