Zoo staff were celebrating yesterday after these two rare RED pandas were born in a breeding program.
The two red panda cubs were born to father Randy, three, and mother Mandy, six, at Paignton Zoo in Devon.
Both pandas – a boy and a girl – are from a shy species and will take many weeks before they emerge into the open.
The red or lesser panda comes from the mountains of Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar and Nepal.
It is a nocturnal animal classed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – meaning it is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
Julian Chapman, head keeper of mammals, said: ”Red panda cubs are slow to make an appearance as they continue their development in the nest after birth, like badgers and foxes.”
Father Randy came to Paignton from Dortmund Zoo in Germany in September 2008 and mother Mandy came from Dublin Zoo in January 2008.
In the wild they live in high altitude forest and eats bamboo shoots, grass, roots, fruit, acorns and occasionally mice and birds.
They have fur on the pads of its paws to help keep heat in and to prevent it slipping on wet or snowy surfaces.
It has legal protection in Nepal and China, and occurs in several national parks.