FOUR rare animals born at Perth Zoo will remain in their nest box for the next couple of months before visitors can get a closer look.
The endangered Nepalese red panda cubs and vulnerable binturong, or Asian bear-cat babies, arrived in early December.
Zoo keeper Marty Boland described the births of the red pandas and bear-cats as important wins for the coordinated breeding programs.
“These early Christmas gifts are the result of careful matchmaking and animal care,” he said on Monday.
The red panda cubs were born on December 2 to six-year-old dad Sombaar and two-year-old mum Maiya, who were both brought to Perth Zoo from the east coast.
“Maiya is doing an excellent job as a first-time mum,” Mr Boland said.
There are estimated to be fewer than 10,000 red pandas in the wild due to deforestation, poaching and the illegal pet trade.
“Their fragmented habitats mean that a lot of breeding opportunities in the wild are missed, so the zoo breeding program is important to create an insurance population against extinction,” Mr Boland said.
The Binturong kits were born on December 9 and are the second litter for mum Selasa and dad Rabu, who both arrived from Singapore in 2016.
While the kits spend the next few months in their nest box, visitors can still watch them on CCTV cameras from the display window.
“Selasa is being a very attentive mother and is allowing us to photograph the cubs as they grow,” Mr Boland said.
Binturong are found in Southeast Asia but are threatened by habitat destruction and poaching for use in traditional medicines.