What is a Trash Panda?

What is a Trash Panda?

Trash is garbage, rubbish, litter, scraps, and general waste – including food scraps and food waste. 

A Panda is an Asian mammal, such as the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) in the Ailuridae family or the Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in the Ursidae family of bears. The Red Panda is an ailurid and the Giant Panda is an ursid.


A ‘Trash Panda’ is the colloquial term for Raccoon. It is also known as the ‘Bandit’ due to its black eye mask.

The Raccoon (Procyon lotor) is a North American mammal in the Procynidae family. Scientists originally thought that the Red Panda belonged to the Raccoon family, but then they classified the Red Panda in a family of its own. The Raccon is a procyonid (family name) or a mustelid (superfamily name). 

The Raccoon is nocturnal, active at night. It is an opportunistic feeder – it eats from a range of available food sources, including from trash cans. 

Scientists think that the Raccoon is one of the world’s most omnivorous animals because it eats almost anything (‘omni’ means ‘all’ or ‘everything’). Its diet includes insects, worms, fruit, nuts, crayfish, fish, frogs, toads, bird eggs, baby birds, and reptile eggs. In city areas, it forages for food waste and leftovers in garbage bins. 

So, a Trash Panda is a Raccoon.

If a person is called a ‘Trash Panda’ it means that they eat anything. 


Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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