Visitors to Selwo are invited to suggest names for the new arrival. / sur

Red panda cub born at Estepona's Selwo Aventura is looking for a name

There are only 10,000 red pandas in the world and the birth of this female has brought hope for a species in danger of extinction

DAVID LERMA Estepona

A red panda cub which was born at Selwo Aventura in Estepona in June is doing well and "has a lot of character,” according to the keepers who look after her. The birth of this cub, who has not been given a name – visitors to the park are invited to suggest some – is good news for the species because there are only 10,000 examples of red pandas in the world.

The head veterinarian at Selwo, Cecilia Sierra, said they realised the mother, Timbu, was pregnant when she began to make a nest out of her own fur. “It was a complete surprise,” she said. The father, Mitsuke, who arrived from a zoo in Belgium in 2021, was brought to Estepona specifically to mate wih Timbu, as part of the European Programme for Endangered Species.

"She is perfect"

The first few weeks of the cub’s life were crucial. “We kept a careful eye on her health and weight, microchipped her etc. She is perfect, a great character and full of life. She is already going out for walks, although her mum doesn’t like her going out yet at all,” Cecilia said.

The red panda is included on the International Union for Nature Conservation red list of animals in danger of extinction. They reproduce once a year and give birth between the end of May and early August. This latest addition to the species was born on 28 June.