Page last updated at 08:51 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 09:51 UK

New red panda for nature reserve

Ming Ming the red panda
Ming Ming the red panda is Birmingham Nature Reserve's latest addition

A West Midlands nature reserve which housed a red panda that famously escaped has now got a new resident.

Red panda Babu went on the run from Birmingham Nature Centre in Pershore Road, twice in 2005, before he was found in a nearby tree in Moseley.

Babu is now based at Edinburgh Zoo and a new red panda, Ming Ming, has been given a home at the nature reserve.

The reserve's keepers said they were confident the new addition would not try to make an escape.

Electric fence

Ming Ming's keeper, Cerith Needs, said he hoped the panda would attract visitors.

He said: "He's just really cute.

"They're very good climbers and in the wild they spend most of their days in trees.

"He's not escaped yet so that's a good sign, but we've got an electric fence around so hopefully this one won't be getting any great escape ideas soon."

Red pandas, also known as lesser pandas, are from Asia and spend most of their day sleeping.

They are similar to racoons and tend to live high up in trees, feeding on bamboo. They can live for up to 14 years.



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