RED panda Ember has proved to be the most popular animal at Dudley Zoo after topping the adoption list for the second year running.

The zoo’s marketing team sent out more adoption packages for the two-year-old female red panda over the Christmas season than any other species on site.

Andrea Hales, marketing manager at the zoo, said: “Ember took the top title last year from our Linne’s two-toed sloths, but has continued to prove incredibly popular with our visitors over the last 12 months, with sloths Flo and Reggie taking second and third place.”

Last year Ember was joined by one-year-old male red panda Carko, who arrived from Sweden as part of an international breeding programme. Staff also spent several months transforming the red panda hillside habitat for the pair, building a new large, wooden climbing frame, nesting boxes, an indoor on-show house, and putting in new fencing, signs and glass windows around a redeveloped public viewing area.

Other festive favourite adoptions included Humboldt penguins Bluey, Bingo, Chilli and Bandit.

Andrea added: “We’re extremely grateful to everyone who purchases an adoption package throughout the year as all money raised goes towards the zoo’s conservation work both here at the zoo and supporting projects around the globe.”

People can find out more about the zoo’s animal adoption packages on the attraction’s website.