A baby red panda named by zookeepers

An endangered little red panda has been named after it underwent its first checkup at a city zoo.

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

Staff at the Wildlife Conservation Charity voted for his name from a shortlist compiled by the wardens as a thank you for their hard work over the past year.

Ruby will stay in her den until she is about four months old, then she will begin to explore the outdoors; however, her parents, Bruce and Ginger, can still be seen outside during the day.

The little red panda Ruby will stay in its den until it is about four months old (RZSS / PA)

Jo Elliott, Animal Collection Manager and Carnivore Keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “We wanted to give our kit a name that paid homage to the red pandas and would also match the name of our previous kit perfectly, Ruaridh. The carnivore team drew up a shortlist of names and submitted it to our colleagues for a vote.

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

“Red pandas are a favorite with visitors here at the zoo and Ruby’s birth is important to this endangered species, which is threatened due to habitat loss and poaching.”

As Ruby grows older her fur will turn redder and her tail will become busier.

She will begin to explore the outdoors with her mother at first, then on her own as she becomes more independent.

The other names on the shortlist were Rosie and Rowan and the name chosen was announced to coincide with International Red Panda Day on Saturday, September 18.

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

Although they are protected throughout most of their natural range, they are still hunted illegally for their fur and tails, which is considered a good luck charm in some cultures.

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