5 Fun Facts: Red Pandas
Published February 19th, 2021 • ~4 minutes to read
Say hello to the red panda! They are cute, furry creatures with a unique red coloring and an extremely playful personality! You will often see young red pandas pouncing on each other or on their mom.
Connection to Red Pandas
I fell in love with red pandas way back in 2005 when I spotted them for the first time at the Atlanta, Georgia zoo. I discovered that these adorable creatures are in danger of extinction and knew that I needed to help.
I’ve always loved writing and decided to write children’s adventure books that feature endangered animals as the main characters to help raise awareness about them. My company, Red Panda Books, donates 10% of the books’ profits to the Red Panda Network—a non-profit organization located in Nepal that is dedicated to the conservation of wild red pandas and their habitat.
Where are Red Pandas From?
Red pandas live in the high-forest mountains of Nepal, northern India, northern Myanmar, and parts of China. (You might recognize the name Nepal because it houses the tallest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas; and the tallest peak on Earth, Mount Everest!)
Red Pandas are solitary animals, except during mating season. Females usually have one to four little ones a year during the spring or summer. The mother and cubs only live together for a year—until the next breeding season—before they head out on their own. Something that is common among most animal babies, red panda cubs are born with grey fur and receive their coloring as they grow older.
Red Pandas Are Real Pandas
The word panda originates from the Nepali word “ponya,” which means, “bamboo eater” or “bamboo footed.” A red panda’s diet includes mostly bamboo leaves, which is how they earned the title of panda.
Despite their name featuring “panda,” the red panda isn’t related to the giant panda. They are of a completely different species: the giant panda is from the bear family, Ursidae, while the red pandas are the only living members of their family, Ailuridae.
Red pandas were discovered in 1825, almost 50 years BEFORE the giant panda was even found! The only relation these two creatures have is that they both eat bamboo (and are super cute!).
5 Fun Facts About Red Pandas:
- Their long, fluffy tail is more than just a pretty decoration, it serves as a nice warm blanket when it gets really cold or snows. They even use it as a pillow! (Awww!) Their tail also helps them balance as they climb trees, kind of like monkeys.
- They live in the treetops, moving along the branches searching for things to eat and to sleep (they usually sleep for 12 or more hours). Their tails help them to balance and they have an extra thumb and flexible ankles that allow them to grip trees for climbing. They are actually one of the few animals that can climb straight down a tree, head-first.
- Red pandas are carnivores, but they eat mostly vegetarian foods. They mainly eat bamboo leaves and can eat up to 20,000 bamboo leaves a day! They also eat berries, grass, small birds and mammals, insects, and eggs.
- Their beautiful red-colored coat is to camouflage themselves! In their mountain forests, the trees have a red moss that matches their coat, making it easier to hide from predators. And their black-colored stomach and legs help them hide from predators looking up.
- They stand on their hind legs and raise their front legs when they are provoked or feel threatened. Though, they often stand up when they are playing.
- Red pandas have scent glands in their footpads that are used to mark their territory. Something crazy is that this liquid or scent that is left behind tells other pandas about their sex, age, and fertility!
Red pandas are so unique but sadly, red pandas are going extinct because of deforestation and poaching.
How Can I Help Red Pandas?
One of the ways to help is by donating to nonprofits or organizations that are dedicated to saving red pandas.
- Donate directly to Red Panda Network
- Adopt a red panda virtually
- Purchase a Red Panda Books personalized children’s adventure book, which gives 10% of its profits to the Red Panda Network
I created Red Panda Books to give these incredible creatures a future. This children’s adventure book, Captain Pabbu and the Buried Treasure features endangered animals as the main characters to help raise awareness about them. And we donate 10% of our profits to saving red pandas across the globe.
Fun Videos of Red Pandas
Here’s to saving our cute furry friends, the red panda!
Red Panda Books sells personalized children’s adventure books that encourage parents to read with their children and experience adventures together! A portion of the books’ proceeds will be donated to support the Red Panda Network and other organizations that protect endangered species and their habitats.