Distribution: Nepal, India, south-west China, Laos, Myanmar, Bhutan
Description: The Red Panda is a reddish-brown colour with white ear rims, cheeks, muzzle and spots above the eyes. Its tail is about 18–50 cm long with alternating light and dark rings. Red Pandas have a false thumb on each hand which helps them to hold onto bamboo stems and leaves and have partially retractable claws which help them to climb. Their paws are completely covered with fur,even underneath.
Diet: Red Pandas are omnivores. Their diet consists mostly of bamboo as well as grasses, acorns, roots, berries and lichen. They will also eat insects, eggs, young birds and rodents.
In the wild: Red Pandas are mostly nocturnal and solitary, but they form pairs during the breeding season. At about twelve months of age, young Red Pandas leave their mother to begin life on their own. Snow Leopards are the natural predators of young and adult Red Pandas and some birds will take cubs in the nest.
Threats: There are fewer than 2,500 adult Red Pandas left in the wild. Habitat destruction and poaching for their fur are threats to the survival of the Red Panda.
At Perth Zoo: Perth Zoo is part of a regional breeding program for the species. Sixteen pandas have been born at Perth Zoo since 1997. Red Pandas can be seen in the Asian Rainforest, near the White-cheeked Gibbon exhibit.
Did you know? Red Pandas communicate through a series of short whistles and squeaks.