Staff and students at Sparsholt College are excited at the arrival of Mya, an 18 month old red panda, who is taking up residence this week in the College’s Animal Management Centre. Mya joins the College’s impressive collection of more than 1000 animals from 200 species and takes up home in the Red Panda enclosure which was previously home to the popular elderly residents Kiki and Ling who passed away recently.
Advanced level Animal Management students will work with Mya carrying out husbandry tasks including feeding, cleaning and providing nutrition such as bamboo. They have also redeveloped the College’s panda enclosure by erecting a new feeding station to allow for easier observation when Mya is eating.
Mya, a male panda comes from Drusillas Park in East Sussex. One of two males born in June 2014, he was initially mistaken for a female, hence his feminine sounding name. His brother is called Anmar. The two names come from “Myanmar” (Burma) one of the countries where Red Panda originate.
Red Panda are considered to be a Dangerous Wild Animal (DWA) and the College requires a zoo licence to keep them at the premises and there are strict protocols enforced when working with them. As one of the first colleges in the country to hold a zoo licence Sparsholt is very experienced at housing specialist animals of this kind.
The College has established itself as a leader in education and training in the Animal Management, Zoo and veterinary arenas and has just been validated by the University of Portsmouth to deliver advanced degree programmes (BSc and MSc) in Applied Zoo Biology.
Mya will join the other rare breed animals who are part of the College’s Animal Adoption Sponsorship Scheme – the perfect gift for any animal lover. Animal adoptions enable the college to target funding into its breeding programmes and the development of natural habitats for its impressive collection.