Love is in the air for Ling Ling and Amba

  • Date: Monday 23 April 2012.
  • Time: 10am
  • Where: Birmingham Nature Centre
  • What: Red Pandas Ling Ling and Amba will move into a brand new enclosure as part of a European captive breeding programme.

Keepers are hoping romance will be in the air as the latest arrivals at Birmingham Nature Centre meet their public – and each other – next week.

Red Pandas Ling Ling and Amba will move into a brand new enclosure at the popular centre on Monday 23 April.

And staff hope the couple will eventually mate as part of a captive breeding programme to save the Red Panda from extinction.

Found in India, Nepal, China, Bhutan, Myanmar and Laos, the Red Panda is an endangered species, with fewer than 2,500 adults remaining across the world.

As a consequence, animal collections throughout Europe are co-operating to ensure there is a genetically healthy population of captive pandas.

Male Red Panda Ling Ling moved to Birmingham from Austria last year and is now ready to come out of quarantine.

Martin Van Wees, European co-ordinator of the captive breeding campaign, identified female Amba as a perfect mate. She has made the shorter journey from nearby Dudley Zoo.

Sharon Lea, Strategic Director, Environment and Culture at Birmingham City Council said: “Birmingham Nature Centre is one of the city’s real gems and is renowned for its work with some of the world’s most endangered species.

“I’m sure Ling Ling and Amba will be a huge hit with visitors to Birmingham Nature Centre and it’s fantastic that we can play a vital role in the conservation of such a beautiful animal.

“It would be great to think we could bolster the global population of this wonderful animal and maybe in time we’ll be hearing the sounds of tiny Red Panda cubs at Birmingham Nature Centre.”

ENDS

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

Notes to editors

  • Birmingham Nature Centre is home to a wide range of animals and reptiles from across the world, including some endangered species.
  • The Nature Centre is now open all year round.
  • Summer (commencing the first week of April) 10.00am – 5.00pm, last admission 4.00pm.
  • Winter (commencing the last weekend of October) 10.00am – 4.00pm, last admission 3.00pm.
  • The Red Panda, also called the ‘Fire Cat’, is a tree dwelling mammal, which looks like a raccoon, with its bushy tail and white and black markings across its face. Characterized by its red fur, the Red Panda looks very different from its larger relative the Giant Panda.
  • The Red Panda is a rare animal and because of its reclusive arboreal nature and the difficult terrain in which it lives, accurate estimates of the Red Panda population are hard to arrive at. It is estimated that there are about 2,500 Red Pandas left in the wild.
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