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Animal Data > Red Panda

(Ailurus fulgens)

Status Distribution Sexually Mature
Endangered Mountain forests of Central Asia 2 - 3 years
Number of Young Gestation Life Span
2 150 days 15 years

Red Panda
(Click for larger image)

The red panda comes from the mountainous forest regions of western China, northern Burma, and Nepal. It is found at heights of 2,000 - 4,000 metres where temperatures are cooler. It leads a nocturnal life, sleeping high in the branches of the trees during the day. The red panda is a very good climber. It has short strong legs, and claws which can be drawn back into its paws to keep them sharp. At dawn and dusk red pandas come down to feed on the ground.

The red panda is mostly herbivorous, feeding on bamboo shoots, grasses, roots, fruit and acorns. They do however sometimes eat eggs, insects, young birds and small rodents. Red pandas, like giant pandas, have an extra 'thumb', which is used for gripping food. This is an enlarged and elongated wrist bone.

Red pandas are very good-natured and it is thought that in the wild they live in family groups. In the spring, the female gives birth to one or two young in a hollow tree or rocky crevice. The young are born blind and do not open their eyes for about 21 days. The young pandas stay close to their mother for the first year. Male pandas take no part in rearing the young.

Main Features

Black under parts. White face with dark stripes from each eye to the corner of the mouth. White ears and long bushy ringed tail.

The red panda, sometimes known as the lesser or common panda, is the closest relative of the well-known giant panda.

In Captivity

Red pandas have been kept at Marwell since 1975. We have been quite successful in their breeding.

They are fed on pellets, chopped fruit, nuts, and occasionally boiled eggs.


©2009 Marwell Wildlife