(Lisbon) With its dense coat, its pointed ears, its white cheeks and the outline of its eyes, a baby red panda has become the new attraction of the Lisbon zoo, where this new representative of a species was born six months ago in danger.

Closely followed by its mother, the young animal with the long tail took its first steps in front of visitors, who will be asked to participate in the choice of its name.

After the first months during which he developed very slowly, he has now reached “a phase where he becomes very playful, a little clumsy sometimes… but he learns very quickly”, Rafaela Fiuza, veterinarian of the Lisbon zoo.

This carnivorous mammal, which feeds mainly on bamboo leaves, likes to live in trees.

“If you can’t find him feeding among the bamboo, you need to look at the treetops,” the zoo warned in a statement announcing his birth.

This birth is exceptional, because the animal belongs to “one of the endangered species”, observed the veterinarian.

The red panda, sometimes nicknamed “fire fox”, is native to the Himalayan peaks. It is generally found in the forests of Asia, particularly in Nepal or China.

Sought after for its fur, this solitary animal is threatened not only by poaching, but also by deforestation and the destruction of its natural environment.

These threats have led to it being classified as an “endangered” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The population of red pandas is now estimated at less than 10,000 individuals in the wild.

The Lisbon Zoo, which is preparing to celebrate its 140th anniversary next year, is home to a total of some 2,000 animals belonging to 300 different species, and has set itself the mission of preserving and protecting several endangered species.