By Steve Nolan
These adorable pictures show the moment two cuddly red panda cubs take their first look at the outside world as they emerge from their den for the very first time.
Not only are the little pair super cute but they are also extremely rare and the first creatures of their kind to be born at Cotswold Wildlife Park in a decade after mother Scarlet gave birth back in June.
Keepers at the park were stunned at the birth as they had no idea that first-time mother Scarlet was pregnant with the male cubs.
Staff had not observed any signs of mating between two-year-old Scarlet and father Doodoo, five, and the mother's thick fur hid any growing signs of pregnancy.
Red pandas are also secretive and shy by nature and only have a small window of opportunity for breeding every couple of years when the female is receptive.
The creatures are regarded as as 'vulnerable' by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which means the species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
Cotswold Wildlife Park has kept red pandas for 40 years but, due to a combination of habitat loss and hunting, it is thought there are less than 2,500 of the gentle species left in the wild.
While classified as a relative of the giant panda and the raccoon, the rigid tailed animal is considered as its own unique family - the Ailuridae.
Normally slightly larger than the average domestic cat and with reddish-brown fur and waddling gait due to its short front legs, the species feeds mainly on bamboo.
They normally live in mist shrouded, temperate forests of the eastern Himalayas, including parts of Nepal, India, Bhutan and Myanmar, and the isolated mountain ranges in western China.