Two red baby pandas have sadly died after contracting hypothermia at a UK safari park, with the twin cubs found dead yesterday.
The safari park at Longleat announced the sad news that cub siblings Tala and Sumi had been found dead in their nesting box by staff working at the park.
Tala and Sumi were just a couple of months old, with the pair having been born earlier this summer before being found dead in a box on December 15.
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It appears the mother of the two twin red baby pandas had stopped feeding the pair, with Tala and Sumi's mum, Emma, impacted by cold conditions.
A spokesman for Longleat said: "Devastatingly, our twin red panda cubs, Tala and Sumi, have passed away.
"They were found deceased in their nesting box yesterday, with initial veterinary investigations pointing towards hypothermia and the weaning process, with mum Emma no longer offering supportive feeds as the most likely reason.
"Although it has been very cold on site, temperatures in the wild for these animals would go down to -15C.
"We’ve provided an increase in diet, shelter and bedding, however the cubs were mostly still dependant on their mum.
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"Unfortunately, these animals have a very high mortality rate – only approximately one in five cubs survive to adulthood in the wild."
Sadly, Tala and Sumi did not survive the cold winter, with the parents of the pair, Emma and Lionel, part of a breeding programme for the endangered species, ITV reported.
The spokesperson continued: "We know so many of you have loved seeing these beautiful creatures for yourselves and will share our sadness in having to say goodbye to them.
"Thank you for your understanding at this time, especially for our keepers who formed such a special bond with them both."
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