VETS and keepers at Chester Zoo got a pleasant surprise when they got up close and personal with their tiny latest addition for the first time.
For vet James Chatterton and Carnivore team leader Alan Woodward, Friday's health check-up was their first opportunity to get a proper look at the red panda cub, which has been kept away from prying eyes by its doting mum since being born in June.
The cub’s check-up, which included being fitted with a microchip, showed it was fit and well, and weighed in at 778g.
But there was further delight in store for James and Alan after they discovered that the cub is female – the first time a female red panda cub has ever been born at the zoo.
Keepers are now thinking of a suitable name for the newcomer and it is expected that the cub will become more independent from September.
She is the sixth cub for nine-year-old mother Lushui and father is Pali, who came to the zoo from Germany.
The pandas only grow slightly larger than domestic cats.