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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 February 2008, 10:53 GMT
Valentine's Day hope for pandas
Red panda - generic
Red pandas are a native species in China, India and Nepal
Wildlife park staff have high hopes that two red pandas moved from Edinburgh Zoo to the Highlands will rear cubs.

Female Jodie has been matched up with Babu, who arrived at Edinburgh this year from Birmingham Nature Centre.

The pair have now been relocated to Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig.

Park visitor services manager, Daska Mackintosh, said there were hopes Valentine's Day "might encourage a bit of romance for the pandas".

The evidence so far has been that the pair have been getting on well.

Jodie, who had been at Edinburgh Zoo since 2004, was previously a potential breeding partner for another male panda called Raka.

He had been at the zoo since 1998.

Polar bear

Jodie, however, rejected Raka's advances resulting in a few injuries for the amorous male.

Earlier this year, Raka moved to Birmingham Nature Centre in exchange for Babu.

The move to the Highlands is part of plans to expand the park's animal collection and its involvement in breeding programmes for endangered species.

Japanese macaques, or snow monkeys, arrived at the park last year.

It also plans to introduce Amur tigers, Amur leopards and Edinburgh's polar bear, Mercedes, as part of a long-term masterplan.

SEE ALSO
Panda mother and cub on the loose
12 Feb 08 |  South of Scotland
Zoos 'failing' over work in wild
12 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Wildlife park planning tiger feat
04 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Snow monkeys drift into reserve
04 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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