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The famous and vulnerable Red Panda of Asia.
The Red Panda.
Diet: Herbivore(80%) - Carnivore (20%)
Average life span in the wild: 8-10 years
Size:Head and body, 20 to 26 in (50 to 65 cm);
Tail, 12 to 20 in (30 to 50 cm)
Weight:12 to 20 lbs (5.4 to 9 kg)
Protection status: Endangered-Vulnerable Specie
The Red pandas are the distant cousins of the famous Giant Panda, but suffer from the same type of dangers: deforestation and illegal hunting.
The Red pandas resemble more to a raccoon but with red/white dense fur covering their entire body, they have a long furry tail which they use to balance when they're in the trees or as protection blankets, covering themselves with their tails in the harsh winter in the chilly mountains, this is useful for extra protection and heat control.
The Red pandas tend to be nocturnal looking for food but as well they can be active at the dusk and dawn, they spend most of their lives in trees for the protection of the height and the proximity of the food in the top of the trees.
The Red panda cannot live in places with higher temperature than 25°C (77°F), because of the dense fur they have. They usually inhabit the chilly mountain regions of China, even rain forests. In the past they had a very large range of habitat, now thanks to the deforestation and illegal hunting the have lost most of the northern region of their usual territory, the population of Red pandas began to move to a southern area.
The Red pandas love to eat bamboo leaves and fresh chutes especially, but as well they can eat berries, several types of fruits, acorns, easy to take out roots, and sometimes bird eggs, and small leaves.
The Red panda share a resemblance with the Giant panda, they have evolved a partial thumb, useful to hang around in the trees and taking the bamboo and other types of food from the trees and in the ground.
Sadly in some countries they tend to feed them with processed food, causing them several infections and some of them don't have the biological protection to our bacteries. It's important to keep this at minimum, not only with the Red panda, with all the animal because sometime we think that we're doing a benefit and in the end we cause more damage.
In the seasons of mating is when the Red pandas leave their territories seeking a mate to reproduce. If the female Red pandas found a good mate the gestation period is about 134 days.
The young Red pandas stay in the lair or nest for about 90 days, only receiving food, in the later months they stand close to the mother in the territory, looking for food and becoming adult Red pandas at the 12 months, later they will leave the territory and find a new one to live a new solitary, hard and adorable life as a Red panda.
The personality of the Red panda is friendly if they don't detect a treat, they tend to be very territorial, marking the areas surrounding the territory with urine and an especial secretion from the anal gland.
They only leave their territories in the mating seasons (1-2 times a year), even in this seasons they are more vulnerable but sometimes they become more aggressive because of their need to find a potential mate to keep the specie.
The Red panda sleeps in the top of the trees for protection, in the hot season they sleep in a wet log with they leg hanging to catch a breeze of freshness, meanwhile in the winter, they sleep in a roll in position with the furry long tail wrapped in their heads for extra protection and heat control.
If they detect a treat, the first option will be running away, climbing a tree or a rock looking for a safe spot, when they can't run away because of there is no option or there are younglings to protect, in that case they will stand up in an aggressive stance trying to scare away the predator by being bigger, a similar defensive instinct used by bears, if this doesn't work then they will charge against the predator using their front claws and powerful bite trying to survive.
Red pandas are endangered because of three main problems: deforestation, illegal hunting, and illegal selling of important parts.
Thanks to the deforestation the Red pandas are pushed to move to other forest regions nearby but some of those territories are populated by bigger and stronger predators, and with the natural instinct of the Red pandas to have a territory, the tend to engage in a fight for the new territory, ending with the death of many Red pandas.
Another reason is with the deforestation they run away in fear, being an easy prey for the poachers and hunter around the area, they get caught in traps or get killed at sight, sometimes only for the fur, especially the bushy haired tail, a highly valuable part of the Red panda, also the fur because the density and color is a good deal in the black market.
The illegal hunting and the smuggling of the Red pandas to other countries is another problem, in some countries having a Red panda as a pet is a very exotic achievement that only a few can show off.
Actually there are several small groups of scientist and support teams, looking to protect the Red panda from this dangers, many scientist are trying to repopulate the specie making sanctuaries where they can be free and have a normal mating season.
Many countries began to act against the illegal hunting and poaching, making laws against them and being a treat to this specie, especially in China there are counter-hunting teams trying to protect the actual population of Red pandas, they don't want to make the same mistake that they do with the Giant panda.
Have you seen a Red Panda?
About the Author.
My name is David Zermeño, and I like to write about interesting and unusual things, especially about animals, biotech and modern ideas.
I hope you liked this Hub and If you have any comment or suggestion, please leave it here, I'll gladly answer any question, you can give me a feedback and a vote up to keep track of my Hubs in the community.
Thanks, and please spread the word about taking care of the Red Panda and some other species. The human is the principal and bigger danger for those species, but we can change this.