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Chori, the red panda, turns sweet 16

The golden girl of Symbio Wildlife Park’s red panda sanctuary, Chori, turned sweet 16 today, and to celebrate the magic milestone in her life, zoo keeper Ash Clarke made a delicious cake consisting of all her favourite fruit and decorated with the freshest of bamboo shoots.

Chori, who arrived to Symbio around six years ago to form part of the zoos red panda captive breeding program, fast became one of the zoos stars, through her constant look of happiness and because she plays a vital role in educating the public and helping further build their appreciation and understanding of endangered species through interactive behind-the-scenes experiences.

Although technically in her twighlight years, with the average lifespan of a red panda in the being 8 years, the spritely senior can be seen every day of the week relaxing on her favourite branches alongside her room mate Indira.

Red Pandas are most active in the mornings and late afternoons, so if your lucky enough, she may just come down to say hi on your next visit. Or if you want to get closer, you can have your very own red panda behind the scenes feeding experience and get up close and personal here at Symbio Wildlife Park, Sydney.

Chori alongside, Indira and Pabu form just one part of the zoos 24 current endangered species conservations and education programs.

Speaking affectionately of Chori, Keeper Ash said “She is definitely a little bit of diva in the mornings, always spending a good five to ten minutes grooming herself before coming down from the tree, even for a cake as delicious looking as this! but that’s Chori for you!”.

Red Pandas in the wild share similar habitat as their larger and much more famous name sake, the Giant Panda, and although not related, just like the Giant Panda, due to poaching, illegal trade, loss of habitat and introduced species they are now listed as and endangered species.

Symbio Wildlife Park is a family owned and operated zoo located on the fringe of the Royal National Park, in the Southern outskirts of Sydney suburb of Helensburgh.