Nobody likes going to the dentist, but sometimes it simply has to be – this also counts for Red Pandas. A few weeks ago Ember, the five-year-old female at Shepreth Wildlife Park in England, had to prove her bravery.
During the monthly weight check, the keepers noticed that she had lost weight, while her sister Sundara became thicker and thicker.
Distracting safety mechanism
In the wild, animals in which a disease is visible from the outside are a particularly interesting prey. Red Pandas have therefore developed the ability to hide their pain especially well. In zoos, this natural protective mechanism makes diagnosis difficult.
For this reason Ember was examined in detail and the vets found the reason for her lack of appetite: one of her lower molars had become infected. „This had made her reluctant to eat hard foods, such as bamboo and root vegetables, so she had been consuming only soft fruit and a zoo-diet ‘panda-cake’,“ says Yvonne Morrin, keeper at Shepreth Wildlife Park.
The Red Panda tooth was successfully removed at the Royston Veterinary Surgery. By now Ember is back to her old self. She participates in the Medical Trainings and enjoys the apricots, pears, blueberries and grapes of the new season as well as their bamboo.
Her sister Sundara, by the way the more active of the two Red Panda females, is on a diet until she loses the extra pounds.
The zoo also participates on the International Red Panda Day 2018