Twin Red Panda cubs died at longleat Safari park: What happened to Tala and Sumi? Explained


At Longleat Safari Park, twin Red Panda cubs tragically died in subfreezing temperatures. Let’s see How did the twin Red Panda Cubs die in detail.

How did the twin Red Panda Cubs die?

At Longleat Safari Park, endangered twin young red pandas have reportedly died from hypothermia as the nation remains trapped in cold weather.

The duo was born this summer, and the wildlife park broke the heartbreaking news on Friday that keepers had discovered their bodies inside their nesting box.

In a statement, the park said:

“We are incredibly sad to share some recent news from the park with you. Devastatingly, our twin Red Panda cubs, Tala and Sumi, have passed away.

“They were found deceased in their nesting box yesterday, with initial veterinary investigations pointing towards hypothermia and the weaning process, with mum Emma no longer offering supportive feeds as the most likely reason.”

“We know so many of you have loved seeing these beautiful creatures for yourselves and will share our sadness in having to say goodbye to them.”

“Thank you for your understanding at this time, especially for our keepers who formed such a special bond with them both.”

Park’s Statement about the Cubs

The two identical Red Panda Cubs Tala and Sumi were born to parents Emma and Lionel this summer as a result of a breeding initiative for the threatened species, and our devoted crew has been attentively monitoring and caring for them ever since.

The red panda parents Emma and Lionel (Image: Longleat)

Initial veterinarian studies indicate that hypothermia and the weaning process, with mum Emma no longer providing supporting meals, were the most likely causes of their deaths.

They were discovered dead in their nesting box yesterday.

Despite the extreme cold on site, these creatures would experience -15 degree Celsius temperatures in the wild.

Although we’ve increased their meals and given them more protection and bedding, the cubs were still mostly dependent on their mother.

Unfortunately, only around 1 in 5 cubs that are born into this species survive to adulthood in the wild.

About the Red Panda Cubs

At Longleat, two lovely red panda twins made their debut in front of the public earlier this summer.

The first offspring of the successful breeding operation for the endangered species at the Wiltshire wildlife park, the pair were born to new parents Emma and Lionel.

Endangered Species

Due to habitat degradation, deforestation, and poaching, red pandas are becoming more and more endangered. There could be as few as 2,500 of them left in the wild.

When the global population was estimated to be 10,000 people in 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) formally declared the species to be “Endangered.” They inhabit bamboo woods and spend the majority of their time in trees.

They can be found in Nepal, Bhutan, and China. Red pandas are solitary creatures in the wild, and they only ever group to breed. Similar to gigantic pandas, bamboo makes up over two-thirds of their diet.

Red pandas typically spend a lot of time sleeping or eating because their diet is very low in calories.

About Longleat Safari Park 

The world’s first drive-through safari park outside of Africa, Longleat Safari and Adventure Park is located in Wiltshire, England.

The park is located within the grounds of Longleat House, a public English stately mansion where the 8th Marquess of Bath lives.

Jimmy Chipperfield (1912–1990), a former co–director of Chipperfield’s Circus, is credited with creating Longleat Safari Park and the idea of safari parks.

Where is the Park’s Duty of care?

An Facebook user made a comment on facebook ,questioning the Longleat Park about their duty of care. The user asked too many questions about the red panda cubs death.

She wrote,

“But they weren’t in the wild?”

“This is nothing but negligent! Were they left in the cold?”

“Surely in captivity you can prevent hypothermia?”

“You monitor and weigh animals to ensure they put on weight?”

“I saw these gorgeous twins a week ago and this is so upsetting and I am so angry that you seem to blame the mother. They should have been taken in to a warmer setting and monitored as they were vulnerable.”

“Where is your duty of care?”

To which, the Longleat Park replied with an answer that didn’t satisfy these questions.

The Longleat Park replied,

“thank you for you reaching out to us following this very sad news. Please know that our Red Panda all have weatherproof boxes with bedding for insulation but we find that they rarely use them other than for cubbing.”

“Generally, the Panda prefer to stay outside using their specially evolved thick fur to stay warm. “

“We try and stay as true to their natural habitat as possible, as with all our residents, however during cold snaps such as these, we will always provide additional warmth as an option for them. – the Longleat team.”

Another user wrote,

“how sad! No duty of care!”

“There not wild there born in captivity, you should of intervened if you can see mum isn’t feeding and there cold. Fact is they have died of starvation – if there is no body weight/fat they can’t stay warm. Sudden drop in temperature how did you expect them to survive! Poor things!”

People are requesting to investigate such issues and take necessary steps to save the wild animals in the park.


Barbara Gale tweeted,

“Maybe lessons learnt for next cubs? In captivity maybe a little more intervention needed? More insulation/heating in a very cold spell for nesting box? Very sad and commiserations to keepers and vets.”

West Midland Safari tweeted,

“We are so sad to see hear this! Sending you all our thoughts.”

Hari Jones tweeted,

“I am so sorry to hear this awful news I’m glad I got to see them last month condolences to Sam and the rest of team at this awful time.”

Julia Godridge tweeted,

“Awh so sorry for you loss to the dedicated team who look after them, bless your valuable work that you all do xxx”

Helen Corbett tweeted,

“So sad, thinking of you all at Longleat ! I had the pleasure to have a Red Panda experience this year with keeper Sam and I know how passionate you all are about your animals!! X”


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