Red panda

Endangered

Mushu, the female, and Ibet, the male, are the park's two red pandas


Scientific name : Ailurus fulgens

Where do they live?

They are found in China, India, Burma, Nepal and Bhutan in the forests of the Himalayas, up to an elevation of 4500 m.

Did you know?

Could you change your family, too?
The red panda had long been classified alongside the giant panda with the family of bears, Ursidae, before being included in the family of raccoons, Procyonidae. Today, they are the only living member of the Ailuridae family. There are currently two sub-species of red pandas, the Western red panda and the larger Styan's red panda.

Red pandas are solitary, nocturnal animals. They form couples during the spring breeding season. The female builds a nest in the hollow of a tree and lines it with leaves and moss to raise 1 to 5 offspring who stay with her for about a year. Red pandas are omnivorous, feeding mainly on low-nutrient bamboo, and complementing their diet with fruit, larvae, eggs and small vertebrates. They are very well adapted to their environment: their thick fur and the hair under their paws help them resist the cold. Their tail helps them balance and their claws make them agile climbers who can even go down trees headfirst. The red panda, like its cousin the giant panda, has a sixth finger. This "thumb" is a simple bone covered with skin that is used to hold bamboo stems. Its main predators are snow leopards and yellow-throated martens.

Length

50 to 64 cm.

Length of the tail

28 to 50 cm.

Weight

3 to 6 kg.

Life expectancy

10 years on average. The oldest individual observed was 14 years old.

Gestation period

130 days.

At birth

6 cm and 100 g.

Keep up hope

More work to be done

In the last 50 years, the red panda population has decreased by 40%, mainly because of deforestation that isolates populations while eliminating their food sources and nesting sites. The red pandas are also hunted for their fur. There are less than 10,000 individuals in the wild and the population is expected to decrease by 10% over the next 30 years. The red panda is protected in most of its range countries and is found in some zoos around the world. To ensure its survival in the wild, its natural habitat must be protected!