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Here's your "awww" for the day: two newborn red pandas, rejected by their mother, have found a surrogate mom in a friendly dog, who's nursing the cubs as her own.
The red pandas were born at the Taiyuan Zoo in China's Shanxi province June 25, and were immediately rejected by their mother as a large crowd of zoo visitors looked on, Xinhua News Service reported.
Zoo staff quickly began the search for a surrogate, and chose the dog from among three canine candidates.
"It's good-natured and has sufficient milk. The baby bears seem to like it, too," zoo staffer Ha Guojiang told Xinhua.
Unfortunately, being a surrogate has caused the dog to refuse to nurse her own newborn puppy, but Ha has taken over feeding the pup.
Red pandas, also called lesser pandas, are furry, tree-dwelling, raccoon-like mammals that are a protected species in China, like their black-and-white Giant Panda relatives.
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ANI Mon, Jun 8 11:35 AM
Gangtok, June 8 (ANI): Keen to save one of nature's rarest and most beautiful animals, the Red Panda, the Sikkim Himalayan Zoological Park (SHZP), in Gangtok, has embarked on a breeding and conservation programme.
The red panda (Ailurus Fulgens) is the state animal of Sikkim, found in six protected areas of the state.
This animal is facing extinction due to habitat loss caused by construction activity and over grazing.
The zoo has been working on the programme since 1997 following the arrival of a pair of red panda at Gangtok Zoo from the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP), in Darjeeling.
"Red Panda's being the state animal of Sikkim, and also an endangered species of global importance, so high precautions have been taken for the conservation of these Red Pandas in the Himalayan Zoological Park. The Forest Department of the Government of Sikkim is effortlessly trying to save these pandas in the wild as well as in the captive condition. After breeding here in the Himalayan Zoological Park, we are going to release them in their natural habitat," said Madan K.S. Shankar, Deputy Director, Zoo and Wildlife, SHZP.
The zoo has obtained four pandas, two pairs from the wild as part of the breeding programme. One of the female panda has started to prepare her bedding, in anticipation of delivering her cubs.
The SHZP aims to collect a gene pool from the wild population.
"We have paired both the male and the female from the wild. So, in the coming days, whatever offspring's we have, we will have captive breed from the wild population," added Shankar.
The zoological park aims to restock panda habitats.
The SHZP has already been identified as the most promising zoo for the red panda conservation programme, as it is favourably located next to a panda habitat containing the animal's staple diet bamboo.
Climatically, the zoo is suitable for red pandas giving hope to forest officials. By Tashi Pradhan (ANI)
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Red Panda Video Games
In Bipo: The Mystery of the Red Panda, what starts out as a routine trip to the cupcakery turns into a full on investigation for a ghost in a deserted manor. Discover the secret behind a mysterious object, and unmask a cloaked bandit that's on the loose! Can you help Bipo discover the secret behind the ghost in the dark manor? Lead him from one adventure to the next in Bipo: The Mystery of the Red Panda.
Monday, June 8, 2009
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1. Atlanta Georgia
2. Bloomington Illinois
3. Bronx, New york
4. Cincinnati, Ohio
5. Cleveland, Ohio
6. Denver, Co.
7. Greenville, S.C.
8. Indianapolis, Indiana
9. Knoxville Tennessee
10. Chicago, Illinois
11. San Diego, California
13. Washington D.C.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Red Panda leaves her island home
Maggie is part of the European Breeding Scheme
A two-year-old Red Panda that "touched the hearts of local visitors" has left her home on the Isle of Man.
Maggie, who was orphaned when she was just one-month-old, has arrived at the Whipsnade Zoo in Luton so she can be paired off for breeding purposes.
Hand-reared by a keeper at Curraghs Wildlife Park on the island, her only family have been the staff at the animal sanctuary.
Wildlife park owner, Nick Pinter said she made a "big impact on the park".
The panda, one of just 30,000 worldwide, was orphaned when her mother died of bone cancer just over two years ago.
Maggie attracted visitors from across the world, who watched as she followed her keeper around the park.
Mr Pinter said: "She is part of the European Breeding Programme which is aimed at stopping these pandas from going extinct.
"She was born here, after her mother who came from Nepal gave birth to her two years ago.
"Many local people would visit the park time and time again, she had touched their hearts.
"Maggie will be used for breeding in Luton, this is the prime age for her."
The Red Panda is currently listed as an endangered species because its natural habitat are rainforests which are rapidly disappearing.
originally published by BBC news