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The boy and girl cubs, which arrived in July, were the first to be born at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park in Devon for six years. ''Red panda cubs are slow to make an appearance as they continue their development in the nest after birth, like badgers and foxes,'' he said.
''With its rusty red coat and a long bushy tail, it resembles a raccoon more than a panda.
''It is mainly nocturnal and spends most of its time curled on a branch with its tail over its head. It lives in pairs and forms small family groups.'
The cubs were born to parents Randy, aged three, and six-year-old mother Mandy.
Randy came to Paignton from Dortmund Zoo in Germany in September 2008 and Mandy arrived from Dublin Zoo the previous January.
The red or lesser panda comes from the mountains of Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar and Nepal.
It lives in high altitude forest and eats bamboo shoots, grass, roots, fruit, acorns and occasionally mice and birds.
The panda has fur on the pads of its paws to help keep heat in and to prevent it slipping on wet or snowy surfaces.
The female has one or two young after a gestation period of 90 to 150 days and the young stay with the mother until they are a year old.
The red panda is classed as ''vulnerable'' by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which means it is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
It has legal protection in Nepal and China, and can be found in several national parks.
Conservation breeding programmes in zoos are co-ordinated worldwide.
The Red Panda is found mainly in temperate forests in the Himalayas, especially in the foothills of western Nepal, southern Tibet, Sikkim, Assam and Bhutan, in the northern mountains of Myanmar, and in southern China in the provinces of Sichuan (Hengduan Mountains) and Yunnan (Gongshan Mountains). It may also live in southwest Tibet and northern Arunachal Pradesh, but this has not been documented. The Red Panda has become extinct in the Chinese provinces of Guizhou, Gansu, Shaanxi and Qinghai.
The effective population size of the Sichuan population is larger and more stable than that of the Yunnan population, implying a southward expansion from Sichuan to Yunnan. Locations with the highest density of Red Pandas include an area in the Himalayas that has been proposed as having been a refuge for a variety of endemic species in the Pleistocene.
Distribution of the Red Panda is disjointed. The Brahmaputra river, where it makes a curve around the eastern end of the Himalayas, is often considered the natural division between the two subspecies, although some authors suggest that A. f fulgens extends farther eastward, into China.
The Red Panda lives between 2,200 and 4,800 meters (7,200 and 15,700 ft) altitude, inhabiting areas of moderate temperature (between 10 and 25 °C / 50 and 77 °F) with little annual change. It prefers mountainous mixed deciduous and conifer forests, especially with old trees and dense understories of bamboo.