Scottish panda cub brings taste of China

8th Aug 2013

A piece of natural history more associated with China and Nepal has come to Scotland - in the form of a red panda cub.

Panda tourism is increasingly popular among family holidays enjoyed thousands of miles away in the East.

They live in the forests of south-western China, the Himalayas and Nepal, and wildlife-loving holidaymakers on specialist tours delight in trying to catch a glimpse of them.

But they are solitary in the wild, unless mating.

Their numbers, despite concerted conservation efforts, are dying out, with experts believing there are only around 2,500 of them left in the natural habitat.

This is why staff at a Scottish wildlife park were thrilled to meet their new red panda cub - two months after he was born there.

Kush arrived in June to two-year-old parents Kitty and Kevyn at Highland Wildlife Park near Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands.

Red panda cubs are born very small and temporarily blind, so rely on their mother for protection for about three months.

A fully developed red panda is a bushy-tailed mammal the size of a dog and is thought to be related to raccoons and skunks rather than the giant panda.

Highland Wildlife Park keepers say the trio will stay out of the public eye for the next few weeks.

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