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Stunning facts about the red panda

Updated on September 2, 2012

Little red panda facts

One of the most notable red panda facts is of course the name which is the same as the black and white bear known as you knows which, the giant panda.

However a red panda is much smaller, if you have a pet cat at your home, then these little red creatures are the same size or slightly bigger than a fully grown house cat.

What make these cute pandas look bigger than they are the bushy tails that can grow up to 45 centimeters in length.

This round like ring tail is very useful for wrapping around the red panda, serves as a warm blanket in the cold temperature environment. The first time I saw a red panda in a zoo, I thought it was a raccoon, because they are very look-alike.

In my surprise when a zookeeper explained to me that this amazing creature could be related to both panda and more of a raccoon. But again, the zookeeper insisted that this cute little red panda is NOT a bear.

I got even more confused at that time, and curiously wanted to know more about this animal. In which mammal family that a red panda belong to?

The Latin name for this arboreal animal is Ailurus fulgens, or shining-cat, however despite the cat name, they have nothing to do with nor related to a cat. In my opinion this little red thing may closely related to Tasmanian devil. Who knows?

Adorable red panda facts

Why a red panda spend most of the time on trees? Most probably they can avoid larger predator like leopard which able to hunt them easily while on the ground.

Anyway, a red panda even sleep on trees, and maybe considered as a nocturnal animal. The red panda bears as some people may call, are active at night, mostly rest during the day.

They have fur on the paws of their feet to help them get a stronger grip while climbing on wet tree branches, as well as provide protection from cold when walking on snow.

Red panda bears are carnivore, eat almost anything from birds, eggs, insects, to smaller mammals. However just like the white and black giant panda bear, this little red thing loves to eat bamboo shoots and leaves.

In fact more than 90% of their diet consists of bamboo. Since bamboo has low-calorie and nutrition level, they would sleep more during the day to save enough energy so they can stay awake and more energized at night.

Red Panda Pictures


High altitude red panda habitat

Where does the red panda live? They could be found in a temperate forest, the forest canopy in the mountains of Himalaya, Nepal, to southwest of China.

Some reports also stated that they live in forest canopy of Tibet, Laos, Myanmar, and India. There are two sub-species, depending the geographical area where they are found.

Cute red panda babies

Female can give birth up to four red panda babies. They usually have their babies within June or July every year. The newborns will have thicker gray fur, weight around 5 ounces.

Just like any other animal cubs, their eyes close at birth and will start to open after one week. The red panda babies usually born in a den, normally a hole of an old tree covered with small sticks and leaves.

The den usually located way above the ground, to keep the cubs safe from leopard, their number one predator. The red panda baby will stay inside the nest for about three months, staying with the mother until the following mating season.

The cubs will reach full size at the age of 1 year, and be able to re-produce by the time they reach the age of 18 months up to 2 years. In average the red panda life span can reach up to 12 to 14 years.

Would it be possible to keep a red panda as a pet?

They are cute and of course I think a lot of people would love to keep them as a pet. Nevertheless, in my view the chance to own the red panda is close to zero.

Unless you can convince your local authority that you can offer a safe, familiar environment to keep red panda as a pet, then you might have the opportunity. Red panda is a wild animal; they need a certain environment to live and will be difficult for you to keep them at home.

If you want to have a red panda as a pet, you might need certain certification, or perhaps you have conservation facility that enable to keep them as pets at the same time promoting breeding program.

Red Panda Baby


Why is the red panda endangered?

The endangered red panda news has been there for quite sometimes. The main threat to the red panda is losing their natural habitat. Once again, human should take full responsibility over the shrinking population of red panda.

The habitat destruction, will lead to the loss of bamboo forest, which is the primary diet of red panda. The increasing human population requires more space to grow and thus expanding is will be the main option. As the result of human population expansion and growth, more space include the red panda habitat are occupied.

Thus forest becomes smaller due to increasing human settlement, and the red panda get pushed aside even further. Unless we do something about it, the red panda would become a history to tell to younger generations, what a shame.


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    • profile image

      Wendy 9 months ago

      this Hub saved me from a D in animal science! Extremely well researched!

    • greeneryday profile image

      greeneryday 5 years ago from Some tropical country

      Thanks alocsin, they indeed are special mammals, appreciate for the vote too!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      We have quite a few of these animals in our local zoos, and I always like watching their antics. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • greeneryday profile image

      greeneryday 5 years ago from Some tropical country

      editsvcs , the red panda indeed is a beautiful animal, I keep on coming back to the zoo just to see this red creature... thanks for stopping by and left a comment...

    • editsvcs profile image

      editsvcs 5 years ago

      Very well researched hub, and beautiful pictures! I saw a red panda at the zoo and it reminds me of a fox - the beautiful red fur and slyness.

    • greeneryday profile image

      greeneryday 5 years ago from Some tropical country

      geoffclarke, thanks, red panda indeed an amazing animal, glad the fact that you already have them there at Toronto Zoo, and also look forward to hear the news about the giant panda too.

    • geoffclarke profile image

      geoffclarke 5 years ago from Canada

      Great Hub, thanks for sharing. I love the Red Panda. We have a pair at our local Toronto Zoo, and we're expecting a pair of Giant Pandas in Spring 2013.