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Page last updated at 23:34 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 00:34 UK

Dutch cat suckles abandoned panda

The panda cub was rejected by its mother

A Dutch tabby cat has adopted a red panda cub, which was abandoned by its mother at a zoo in the Netherlands.

The adult panda, Gladys, rejected two cubs after they were born on 30 June. The Artis zoo in Amsterdam initially kept them both on an incubator.

But the zookeeper's cat had just given birth to four kittens, and allowed the pandas to join the litter. One of the cubs died last week.

Red pandas are a rare species only distantly related to giant pandas.

When fully grown, they are not much bigger than a domestic cat.

"The young panda is doing well in the circumstances," the zoo said in a statement.

"For it to survive, it is very important that it gets enough food and grows. We will see if this is the case over the next few weeks."

The cub does not have a name yet, but the zoo says that anyone willing to sponsor her will be allowed to name her.

The red panda is an endangered species that lives in Himalayan regions in China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, and Burma.


SEE ALSO
Zoo sends aid to pandas in China
27 May 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Escaped mother panda found alive
15 Apr 08 |  South of Scotland

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