Belfast Telegraph

Warm welcome for red panda Vixen as sun shines on Belfast Zoo

By Adrian Rutherford

Meet Belfast Zoo's newest resident - Vixen the female red panda. She arrived from Dresden Zoo in Germany on Friday.

To welcome the special arrival, the zoo teamed up with Botanic Gardens and Fleming Fulton School, with pupils invited to help the team at Botanic Gardens collect and deliver bamboo to the new red panda.

Zoo manager Alyn Cairns said: "Red pandas are found in the forests of the Himalayas.

"The red panda gets its name from the fiery colour of the coat and in China is called the 'hon ho', which means 'fire fox'. For this reason, keepers have named the new arrival 'Vixen'.

"This stunning species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild and is even extinct in some regions of China, demonstrating the importance of zoos and their role in the conservation of the red panda through collaborative breeding programmes."

Yesterday, animals at the zoo were relaxing in the balmy temperatures, including penguins by the pool.

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