News / Bristol Zoo Project

Endangered red panda arrives at Bristol Zoo Project

By Mia Vines Booth , Thursday Mar 21, 2024

A fluffy new resident has made itself at home at Bristol Zoo Project.

Nilo, a red panda, has arrived at the zoo after moving over from ZSL’s Whipsnade, 135 miles away, where he was born as part of the European Ex-situ Programme (EEP) conservation breeding programme.

His new territory is tailor-made to the needs of red pandas, with a large cedar tree at its centre and plenty of climbing opportunities.

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It is hoped Nilo, whose name means blue in Nepalese, will pay a vital role in the future of red pandas globally, as part of a crucial European breeding programme.

Red pandas are an endangered species, and its thought there are only 2,500 left in the wild. Researchers believe their population has declined by 40 per cent over the last 50 years.

Native to the Himalayan Mountain range through Nepal, India and China, where they are under threat from habitat loss and poaching.

Will Walker, curator of mammals at Bristol Zoo Project, said: “We are very excited to have Nilo here with us at Bristol Zoo Project.

“He has settled in really well so far and has enjoyed exploring his new habitat. We are thrilled to bring the species back to Bristol and the South West for visitors to enjoy and observe.”

Nilo joins a host of animals from around the world at Bristol Zoo Project, including giraffes, cheetahs, zebras, wolves, bears, lynx, deer, ostrich, gelada baboons and lemurs.

An interactive trail based on the much-loved children’s picture book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is taking place at the zoo from Saturday until September 1, where visitors will be able to spot the zoo’s European brown bears while navigating a treetop walkway with panoramic views.

80 per cent of animals at Bristol Zoo Project will be linked to its conservation work in the UK and around the world, with a new Central African Forest habitat due to be built which will become home to the zoo’s existing troop of critically endangered western lowland gorillas.

Main photo: Bristol Zoo Project

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