RED PANDAS

IUCN: Endangered

  • Anatomical features indicate red pandas are most closely related to the racoon and similar to giant pandas and bears but are now in a ‘family’ of their own.
  • The red panda is most active in the early morning and late afternoon spending most of the day resting in trees conserving their energy as their bamboo diet has a low energy content.
  • Red pandas are normally solitary but form pairs in the breeding season.
  • Red pandas are only in season for one day a year.
  • The red panda was first discovered by western explorers in 1821, 48 years before the giant panda in 1869.
  • The Chinese name for red panda is hunho or firefox, due to their colouring and similar size to a fox.
  • Like giant pandas, red pandas have an extra ‘thumb’ which is simply an enlarged bone.
  • A red panda can consume up to 45 percent of its own body weight daily eating approximately 200,000 bamboo leaves daily.
  • The origin of the name Panda is the Nepalese word nigalya ponya, which means "eater of bamboo”.