Red Panda

7 Facts to Make You Fall in Love with Red Pandas



Red pandas may not be the first animal you think of when you hear ‘panda,’ but we think they’re just as remarkable as their black and white namesakes.

1. Bamboo is a red panda’s best friend

Around 95% of a red panda’s diet consists of bamboo. Because bamboo is so low in calories and fat, red pandas spend most of their day eating. When they’re not chowing down, they’re typically taking a snooze to conserve energy. Sounds great to us!

red panda about to pounce on another red panda

2. Red pandas are much smaller than their furry black and white friends

While giant pandas are indeed giant, red pandas are only around the size of an average house cat. Giant pandas were actually named after red pandas due to their shared love of bamboo. Yet despite this similarity, red pandas do not belong to the same family as giant pandas but rather exist in a grouping of their own

red panda about to pounce on another red panda

3. Red pandas live in the Himalayas

You can find red pandas in the forests of the Himalayan mountains in Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, and Nepal. They can live comfortably in high altitudes and tolerate snowfall.

red panda about to pounce on another red panda

4. Red pandas are gymnasts

Red pandas do an excellent job of navigating the treetops for a few reasons. First, they have very flexible ankles, which allows them to crawl down trees face-first—a skill few animals possess. Second, they have sharp claws that can partially retract, like that of a cat, which is useful for gripping branches. Lastly, red pandas’ big bushy tails help keep them balanced.

red panda about to pounce on another red panda

5. Red pandas keep to themselves

Adult red pandas typically spend their time alone once their babies are grown, unless it’s mating season. During this time, adult male red pandas will leave their scent on trees for adult females to find, thus initiating the mating process.

red panda about to pounce on another red panda

6. Baby red pandas take playtime seriously

While pouncing around is fun for a red panda baby, it also has a practical purpose—building balance and coordination. Baby red pandas play with their peers and their parents and are considered full-grown around the age of 2 years.

red panda about to pounce on another red panda

7. Red pandas are endangered

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation) categorizes red pandas as endangered, with their population continuing to decrease.

Like many endangered wildlife, red panda populations are declining due to 1) deforestation, often for the purpose of clearing land to grow crops to feed farmed animals, 2) poaching, as red panda fur and body parts are sold for use in clothing and traditional medicine, and 3) the illegal pet trade, where red pandas are trapped to be sold as pets in human homes.

Learn more about why wild animals aren’t pets and take the pledge to never purchase a wild animal.

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