Edinburgh Zoo’s beautiful baby red panda named by adoring staff

An endangered red panda kit born at Edinburgh Zoo this summer has been named after undergoing her first health check.

Ruby was born in July and staff at the wildlife conservation charity voted for her name from a shortlist drawn up by keepers as a thank you for their hard work over the last year.

Ruby will stay inside her den until she is around four months old, when she will start to explore outside; however, her parents, Bruce and Ginger, can still be seen outside during the day.

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Jo Elliott, animal collection manager and carnivore keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “We wanted to give our kit a name which pays homage to red pandas and would also fit nicely with our previous kit’s name, Ruaridh. The carnivore team came up with a shortlist of names and put it out to our colleagues as a vote.

Ruby was born in July at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo.Ruby was born in July at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo.
Ruby was born in July at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo.

“Everyone at RZSS has worked so hard this last year, providing expert care for all of the animals at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park throughout the pandemic and working to connect the public with nature during lockdown. This was a small thing we could do to say thank you.

“Red pandas are a visitor favourite here at the zoo and Ruby’s birth is significant for this endangered species, which is at risk due to habitat loss and poaching.”

Red pandas are native to the Himalayas in Nepal, Bhutan, India, Myanmar and southern China.

Although they are protected in most of their native range, they are still hunted illegally for their fur and tail, which is seen as a lucky charm in some cultures.

In August, Edinburgh Zoo welcomed three new endangered horses native to Mongolia.

The three male Przewalski’s horses, all aged three, arrived safely at the zoo after travelling south from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park.

The wildlife conservation charity says it has a successful history with the endangered species at the wildlife park, near Kingussie.

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This is the first time zoo visitors will be able to see Przewalski’s horses in the Capital and learn how they were brought back after becoming extinct in the wild in the 1960s.

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