TWO new adorable red panda cubs have been born at Chester Zoo.

Born on June 22 to mum Nima and dad Koda, the precious nine-week old twins have been kept tucked away by their parents in nest boxes since birth.

During their first ever health check-up the endangered duo have been revealed as a boy and a girl.

They were also given a full, clean bill of health.

Assistant team manager at the zoo, James Andrewes said: “These red panda twins are wonderful, important new additions to the carefully managed breeding programme for the species, which is working to increase the safety-net population in Europe as numbers in the wild continue to decline.

“Happily, both cubs are developing very well indeed and the health MOTs we’ve been able to perform confirmed that mum Nima is clearly doing a great job of caring for them.

“We also discovered the genders of each of the cubs - one male and one female - and returned them to their mum as soon as we’d finished giving them a quick once over.

"Nima took them straight back to her nest and it’ll be a few weeks now until the cubs start to develop the confidence to come out and explore by themselves.

Winsford Guardian:

"Before they’re able to stand on their own feet, it is though possible that some lucky people will have the occasional glimpse of Nima carrying them from nest to nest by the scruffs of their necks.”

Winsford Guardian:

Found in the mountainous regions of Nepal, India, Bhutan, Myanmar and southern China, there is estimated to be fewer than 10,000 red pandas left in the wild.

The decrease in numbers is down to human actions, such as widespread habitat destruction, trapping for the illegal pet trade and poaching for their iconic red fur.

Conservationists at Chester Zoo have called on the public help to fight the illegal wildlife trade that is driving species to extinction around the world.

People can report any suspicious activity they may spot, online or on holiday, via the zoo’s online illegal wildlife trade reporting form: www.chesterzoo.org/illegalwildlifetrade