Ailurus fulgens fulgens
Temperate forests of the Himalayas and high mountains of northern Burma
Between 2,200 and 4,800 m in temperate forests with bamboo understories.
Wild: Primarily bamboo leaves and shoots, as well as berries, blossoms, nuts and seeds, with an occasional insect, small bird, eggs, and rodents
Zoo: Bamboo, leaf eater chow and apples
About 134 days
1-4 cubs, an average of 2
Approx 14 yrs, generally 8-10 (8-17 in captivity)
Red pandas weigh between 6 and 13 lbs, have a head and body length of 22-24 inches and a bushy tail measuring 14-18 inches. The body is covered with long reddish-brown fur on the upper parts, blackish fur on the lower parts, light face with dark tear markings, and a light-ringed tail. The roundish head has medium-sized upright white tipped ears, a black nose, and very dark eyes. The legs are short, soles of the feet are covered with dense hair, and have curved semi-retractable claws. The front paws are equipped with a 'false thumb,' like the Giant panda, that is really an extension of the wrist bone to assist in holding bamboo and climbing trees. The eastern species may be somewhat larger and darker in color than those found in the western area.
Behavior: Red pandas are excellent tree climbers most active at dawn, dusk and at night foraging for food. Most of the day is spent resting in trees conserving energy as their bamboo diet has a low energy content. Adults are normally solitary outside of the breeding season. At the onset of mating season a male and a female rest, move and eat in close proximity as scent-marking the territory increases. A litter of usually 2 cubs is born in a nest in a hollow tree or rock crevice and the young stay with their mother for about a year. Red pandas vocal repertoire is small but varied (squeal, snort, grunt, etc.). They have a maximum lifespan of approximately 14 years.
Did You Know?
- Red pandas are also known as fire fox, bear cat, wah, woker.
- Red pandas were first discovered in 1821.
- Red pandas are endangered because of human encroachment.
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the Red Panda Exhibit at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.