Symbio Wildlife Park is celebrating the arrival of three rare Red Panda triplets that are now exploring their sanctuary.
First time mum Kesari gave birth to the trio at Christmas and zookeepers at the family run zoo have given them plenty of time on their own to ensure they get the best possible start to life.
But now Kesari, father Pabu and the Symbio team are so happy with their progress they are ready to announce their arrival publicly just in time for the school holidays.
The Red Panda cubs each weigh in at of around 100 grams and are gaining more mobility and confidence.
They have started to venture outside their nest box and around their sanctuary on their own.
Zookeepers have been careful not to say anything until now but know the wait has been very important.
Red Pandas are an endangered species and hard to breed so the arrival of three infants at Symbio is considered an important step for the international breeding program.
“There has only been eight occurrences, including this, of triplets born in Australasia over the past 30 years, and this is only the third time ever in Australia,” Symbio Wildlife Park general manager Matt Radnidge said.
“We are extremely proud to be contributing to the breeding program in such a miraculous way, the care and dedication from our zoo keeping team has been clearly evident through the delicate process of assist feeding the cubs, and ensuring the health of Kesari."
The litter is all boys and the team at the Helensburgh zoo are expected to announce their names soon.
The zoological industry in Australia views their arrival as a major boost to the genetic preservation of a species that has a declining population in the wild where they enjoy a very similar habitat to the larger Giant Panda. Both suffer from the same habitat loss from the wilds of Northern Myanmar to the west Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces of China. They are also found in pockets around Nepal, India and Tibet.