Endangered baby red panda born at Edinburgh Zoo

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
:Little Ruaridh was born in July to mum Ginger and Dad Bruce in July (RZSS)

An endangered red panda kit has been born at Edinburgh Zoo - and he’s been given a very Scottish name.

Ruaridh was born in July to mum Ginger and dad Bruce, both from the Netherlands and who arrived at the zoo in February 2017 and March 2016 respectively.

The little guy was pictured getting his first health check with head vet Simon Girling and keeper Leanne Deacon this week.

The People’s Postcode Lottery - whose players funded the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) red panda enclosure in 2017 - chose to call him Ruaridh.

The name fittingly means “red-haired king”.

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The baby panda - or kit - will soon start to explore outside after spending his first few months in the den.

The birth of the kit follows sad news earlier in September when Lady Hilary - one of two red pandas who lived at Bristol Zoo - passed away.

The 11-year-old panda developed a serious infection in her jaw which prevented her from eating.

The red panda has been classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) (Xinhua/Sipa USA)

The red panda is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.

It is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, with the declining population estimated at fewer than 10,000 mature individuals due to habitat loss, fragmentation and poaching.

Although a protected species in all native countries (with the exception of Myanmar) they are still hunted illegally for their fur.

They are also killed for their long bushy tails, which is considered a good luck charm for Chinese newlywed couples.