Drusillas Park has named their baby red panda born in the summer, Shyla, due to her sensitive nature.
Shyla was born at the park on 17th July but despite her hotly anticipated arrival, the bashful babe is yet to debut.
For the last four months she has been hiding away within one of the group’s three nest boxes.
Visitors enjoy regular sightings of the panda puff as she pops her head out the hideaway hole. However, despite multiple attempts by mum, Mulan to encourage her out, the cosy cub cannot be tempted.
Zoo manager Sue Woodgate said, “Shyla is yet to take those all-important first–steps exploring her enclosure, playing with her sister and meeting our visitors.”
“We have no doubt she will appear in her own good time – her older sister Anmar also took a little while to venture out but you can’t stop her now.
“Fingers crossed Shyla will follow in her footsteps very soon; I am sure it will be worth the wait.”
“The name Shyla was chosen from nearly 200 suggestions on the Drusillas Park Facebook page, made by followers of the award-winning attraction.
“ Staff thought it a fitting title for the peekaboo panda, who is the third born at the zoo since the group arrived in 2013.”
This is not the first time the park’s red pandas have been in the news.
Twins Mya and Anmar were born on June 16, 2014 and were the first of this species to be born at Drusillas throughout the zoo’s 90 year history.
The mixed sex twins were born to first-time parents Mulan and Tibao, who were introduced in 2013 as part of a European Breeding programme.
In June this year they clebertaed their first birthday at the zoo.
At the time, head keeper Mark Kenward, who is responsible for the red pandas at the zoo and works with them every day, said, “I can’t believe it’s the pandas’ first birthday already.
“They have gone from being tiny cubs to fully grown adults in the space of twelve months.”
The red panda is slightly larger than a domestic cat. It has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs.
It feeds mainly on bamboo, but is omnivorous and also eats eggs, birds, insects, and small mammals.
It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day.
The red panda, also called lesser panda and red bear-cat, is native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.
Red pandas have been classified as vulnerable as its wild population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature creatures.
The population continues to decline and is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression, although red pandas are protected by national laws in their range countries.
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