Red Panda

Ailurus fulgens

What is this frosty-faced beauty of ringed tail and rust-colored fur? Some call it fire fox, shining cat, cloud bear, or Himalayan raccoon. Though similar in character and appearance to raccoons and bears, the tree-dwelling, bamboo-munching red panda is in a family of its own.

Made for a life in the trees, the red panda travels through the canopy with ease. Not only is the panda a great climber, it is also an amazing jumper, clearing distances up to five feet. Hair on the bottom of its feet keeps the panda from slipping on branches.

More info

  • Red pandas spend up to 13 hours a day foraging for bamboo, eating only the youngest, most tender leaves.
  • Pandas have a small, thumb-like bone that sticks out from the wrist that helps them grasp bamboo shoots.
  • A thick, furry tail that wraps around its body protects the panda from the chilly weather.

Learn more: The Zoo supports the efforts of the Red Panda Network (RPN) to protect red pandas and their bamboo forests in the wild through the education and empowerment of local communities.

Fact File

Species @ Risk Image
Species Survival Plan Image
where to see themWhere to see them: Next to Spaulding Children's Zoo
lengthLength: 1.5 to 2 ft
weightWeight: 6.5 to 14 lbs
life expectancyLife Expectancy: 10 yrs
habitatHabitat: Mountain forest
dietDiet: Primarily bamboo shoots and leaves; some roots, fruit, grasses, acorns, lichens, small animals
exclamationRisk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN—Vulnerable)