Plans have been submitted to introduce red pandas to the collection of animals at the West Midland Safari Park. It will be the first time the park has been home to red pandas.

The creatures will be homed to an enclosure specifically designed to enable them to express their natural behaviour. Red pandas are found in southwestern China and the eastern Himalayas. They are an endangered species due to poaching and a loss of habitat.

Angela Potter, head of wildlife at West Midland Safari Park, said: “We are excited at the prospect and honoured in the hope we can look after this beautiful species and work to support their conservation in the wild.

“The new facilities will provide stimulating and enriching environments, including trees, climbing structures, nesting boxes and lots of planted bamboo. They will also have an air conditioned inside den to keep them content all year round,” Potter added.

If the proposal is approved, building for red panda enclosures, as well as the renovation of two existing cottages at the site which are being transformed into luxury accommodation for guests, will begin in the spring.