Red Pandas are awesome!
You can probably tell, we love red pandas!!
They are also known as the Lesser Panda, the Fire Fox and the Red Cat Bear.* They are cat sized carnivores that eat mostly bamboo (they have a plant based diet, mostly vegan!), are nocturnal creatures, and mostly solitary. They can be found in the Himalayas mountains (so - India, China & Nepal).
We've only ever seen one in person once, years ago, at a zoo. It was sad that the red panda was in such a small enclosure, instead of in its natural habitat. As illegal hunters, poachers and more humans live in their mountain forest habitats, they are forced out of their natural enivronment. It becomes more and more likely that future generations will only get to see them in captivity (as they do captive breeding in zoos).
Here's a video of some red panda cubs at a zoo:
Based on the IUCN Red List, it is an Endangered species and may become extinct in the near future. There are estimated to be less than 3,000 Red Pandas remaining in the wild.
There are some conservation groups like the Red Panda Network that do awareness campaigns and local conservation efforts (such as having "Forest Guardians" who monitor & protect red panda habitats).
Today, we learned that through RPN, you can "adopt" a red panda, support Forest Guardians and, you can even take an Eco Trip to Nepal to go to the forest, travel & explore the red pandas' natural habitat.
Here's a picture of the red panda Sita who we "adopted":
According to the website: "Sita is five years old and has two cubs that she keeps safe from leopards and domestic dogs. She loves taking her cubs to the stream to drink water and teaching them how to climb trees and eat bamboo."
(Photo & Info from link: http://redpandanetwork.org/contribute/adopt-a-panda)
We hope red pandas will be around for future generations to coexist with. (And hopefully not all will be in captivity!) More people should learn about their plight, so feel free to share this post, or share Red Panda Network's work, or even just cute pictures or videos of red pandas with captions that let people know they are an endangered species.
Have a great day!
Red Panda Artwork by Kevin