The life of a red panda

The red panda is also known as the lesser panda or red cat-bear and live in the coniferous forests of the Himalayas. Just like its black and white namesake, the red panda eats mostly bamboo but isn’t related to the giant panda. They are the only surviving members of the Ailuridae family, which used to contain 18 animals that were similar in appearance to a red fox.

Red pandas are nocturnal, and scientists think that the white fur around their eyes helps reflect light into their eyes in dim conditions. When on the hunt for bamboo leaves, red pandas lie on the ground and bend the stem towards them. They then pick off the leaves of their choice and pull down another stem within reach.

If approached by a predator, a red panda will stand on its hind legs to appear larger while shaking its head and clapping its jaws. If all else fails, these excellent climbers will scurry up the nearest tree to stay safe. Red pandas are able to rotate their ankles 90 degrees to give them a climbing advantage.

 

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Image from www.flickr.com/photos/fiskfisk