Bristol Zoo’s red pandas would have loved a white Christmas

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The mild seasonal weather might make life easier for us but there is one girl who would love it to get colder – much colder.

She is Lady Hilary, one of the red pandas at Bristol Zoo Gardens, who is 10 years old on December 27.

Like all red pandas she loves the cold and especially the snow.

Red pandas have fur on the soles of their feet which keeps them warm and helps them to grip icy surfaces.

Mammals curator Lynsey Bugg said: “Lady Hilary and her mate Chota love the cold weather.

“They are really popular with our guests. They have such endearing faces and people enjoy seeing them close-up as well as watching them climb effortlessly to the highest point in their trees.”

Ms Bugg said Lady Hilary will be marking her birthday by tucking into her favourite food – bamboo.

Red pandas are native to the mountainous regions of Nepal and south-west China where it is very cold and snowy.

But because people have cleared large areas of the forests where they live to meet the demand for timber they are classified as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Ms Bugg added: “This is why breeding pairs like the one we have at Bristol Zoo are so important to the survival of this species.”

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