The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a mammal, native to the eastern Himalayan mountains and southwestern China.
Red pandas have reddish-brown fur, a long shaggy tail, and short front legs. They have light white patches on their faces, especially around their noses and ears. They have black noses and black eyes.
Red Pandas can grow to 50-64 centimetres (20-25 inches) tall, and their tails are 28-59 centimetres (11-23 inches) long. Males are slightly bigger than females.
They are arboreal (living in trees), and their long, bushy tails with six coloured rings provide balance.
Their claws are sharp, curved, and semi-retractile, which enable them to grasp narrow tree branches.
They have thick fur on the soles of the paws, which provides thermal (heat) insulation in the snow.
They feed mainly on bamboo (about 66% of the time), but they also eat the leaves of trees, grass, roots, acorns, eggs, birds and insects. They are omnivorous, because they eat all types of foods (omni means all).
Red Pandas are noctural, meaning that they are active at night. They are sedentary during the day.
They are solitary animals.
They are ready to have babies when they are about 18 months to 3 years old. They have live young in a nest of grass and leaves in a hollow tree or rock crevice.
They prefer mountainous, cold regions.
A Red Panda’s average lifespan is 8-10 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM