Red Pandas were formally classified as a mammal species in 1825. For years, scientists had debated whether we were related to bears, or raccoons and weasels. Finally, genetics proved that we are a unique species, belonging to the mammal family called Alluridae.
Many people think that we are related to the Giant Panda. We are, but only in name and our love for bamboo. Actually, we are the ‘real Pandas‛. It‛s true. The Giant Panda was named after us because their specie was classified in 1869.
We Red Pandas are naturally skilled acrobats like monkeys. We can climb up trees and swing on branches with ease using our strong claws. Our flexible ankles equip us to climb down trees head first easily.
We are cute, but we don‛t really like being the center of attention. We are solitary beings and rarely interact with others. In case we meet another Red Panda, we communicate by arching our tails and bobbing our heads.
We love to live in coniferous forests and on steep slopes with lots of bamboo and water. We are also nocturnal, which means we are active during the night, taking sleep breaks in between.
We Red Pandas spend most of our lives on trees. We sleep and sunbathe on branches, and get down only to eat!
We have two layers of fur, which protect us in chilly mountains. The outer layer is covered with long rough hair and the soft inner coat has fluffy hair. We use our long bushy tails like blankets during winters.
At the sight of predators like snow leopards or jackals, we quickly climb up trees and hide among branches. Our reddish brown fur coat matches the red moss and lichen on trees in our forest homes, which makes it difficult for our enemies to spot us.
Though classified under carnivores, we rarely eat meat. We eat at least four pounds of bamboo every day. That‛s quite a lot considering our size. We occasionally eat fruits, eggs, rodents, acorns and small birds too.
Red Pandas talk to each other by squealing, twittering, growling, grunting and hooting. We also use a unique sound called huff-quack, which is like a mix of a pig‛s snort and a duck‛s quack.
Adult Red Panda can get as big as house cats. And we are pretty cute too.Our kitten-like faces, reddish-brown coat and big bushy tail attract everyone.
Mamma Red Pandas give birth between May to August. Before giving birth, moms build nests using branches, twigs, grass, leaves or moss. A female delivers up to four cubs at a time. It takes care of the cubs for three months and after that they fend for themselves.
We are an endangered species. In 2015, our population was about 10,000, which is half of what it was in 1997. Our lives are threatened by deforestation, poaching and diseases spread from domestic animals. Please do your best to help my species survive!
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