Red Panda

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Range
Found throughout the Himalayan Mountains between 2200 & 4800 meters in elevation in northern Burma and the districts of Sichuan and Yunnan.

Habitat
Temperate climates amongst deciduous and coniferous trees as well as bamboo forests.

Distinguishing Characteristics
The red panda is cryptically colored to blend in with its surroundings (usually mossy colored trees). Its face is mostly white with reddish-brown “tear” marks under the eyes. The body is reddish-brown with a black underbelly. The legs are black and the feet are covered in dense white hair. The tail is long & furry with alternating red and buff rings.

Dietary Classification
Diet in the Zoo: leafeater biscuits and grapes as well as bamboo

Diet in the Wild: bamboo, berries, blossoms, leaves, mice, birds, fruit, veggies, acorns, & roots.

Life Span
In the wild, the longest lived (known) specimen was 14 years old. Life expectancy in the wild is usually between 8 and 10 years.

Behavior/Adaptations
Red pandas usually descend trees headfirst.
Red pandas have been pivotal in taxonomic research on Family Ursidae (includes bears) and Family Procyonidae (includes raccoons). Red pandas were originally placed in the latter, then the former, and now belong to their own family Ailuridae.

Status
Endangered due in large part to deforestation and expanding human populations in Southeast Asia.