Female red panda added to River Safari as part of international breeding program, Environment News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – A female red panda now lives in the River Safari, as part of an international breeding program for the endangered species.

The two-year-old red panda named Keta arrived here in January from Melbourne Zoo and spent the last eight months in her new environment, the Wildlife Reserves Singapore said in a statement on Thursday (August 30).

She was unable to adapt immediately to her new environment and needed time to build trust in her caretakers and become familiar with the Giant Panda Forest exhibition of River Safari.

She joins two other male red panda's, Karma and Puskar. Karma, who is six years old in December, has been earmarked as her partner.

Halim Ali, assistant curator at River Safari, said: "As with introducing new animals, it is not uncommon to see small fights at the beginning, we must have a lot of patience to get the couple to get used to each other's smell and presence overtime.

"Keta is now more receptive to her future partner."

Red panda's are originally from Asia and are classified as an endangered species in the International Union for the conservation of the red list of nature due to threats such as loss of habitat and poaching.

An estimated 10,000 red panda are left in the wild.

Correction note: The headline of an earlier version of this article said that Keta was the first female red panda in the River Safari. The first female red panda was actually Poonya, who died in 2016.

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