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.
Did you Know?
Sleeping away most of the day in the treetops, the panda is most active at dawn and dusk.
- 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.