Altina Wildlife Park has announced the birth of a baby red panda, adding another endangered animal to their list of successful breeding programs.
Nine-year-old Rani gave birth to a male panda cub at the Darling Point location in New South Wales.
He was born on the 17 December and has not yet been named.
The zoo says that Rani is already a “naturally good mother”, which is unusual for an older and inexperienced red panda.
Currently, there are less than 10,000 red pandas left and around 50 in Australia.
This cub is the first one born in Australia in the past two years.
“We’re just unbelievably excited with our newest baby,” said Animal and Operations manager Rebecca Surian.
Altina has only had these pandas for a year and has never bred them before.
The animal is known for having low breeding success and can be easily disturbed during the mating process.
Surian said it can be “really scary” to conserve a species that is difficult to breed, but they only interfere if necessary.
Despite being just over a month old, staff believe that the male cub has a lot of “attitude” already.
“If he’s awake properly he hisses at us like a little kitten, but he just sleeps all day long,” said Surian.
Newborn red pandas are particularly vulnerable and have a high mortality rate in the wild.
The zoo is hopeful that this achievement can help conservation both in Australia and overseas.
This comes not long after the zoo welcomed a litter of three rare lemur pups in October last year.
At the time, they did not know the mother was pregnant.
The zoo is hoping for another successful year, claiming that there is “definitely something in the water at Altina”.