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Red Panda: Facts About Them


Although it is still in the shadow of the famous giant panda, the red panda has seen its fans grow around the world. There is no shortage of gifs, videos, and photos of the adorable animal on social media. And even a version of him, Master Shifu. He is a part of the hit movie ‘Kung Fu Panda’.

The red panda is an omnivorous mammal that reaches 60 centimeters and 6 kilos. They are in danger of extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). That is why at Mongabay Latam we decided to share some images and data about Ailurus fulgens. That is the scientific name of this animal that lives in India, China, and Nepal, among other Asian countries. This is where many people try to protect them. For example…

Is the red panda a bear?

The red panda does not belong to the Ursidae family, like the giant panda, its habitat neighbor, and other bears. However, the only remaining representative of the Ailuridae. At one point they were considered a bear, but everything changed 15 years ago. According to a study published in 2000 in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, their character is more closely related to raccoons, skunks, and other mustelids.

Was saved with the name

Red panda on a tree on a sunny day
By watman

Although they became known as a red panda, they came close to having a much less marketable name. In an 1821 article, the English naturalist Thomas Hardwicke introduced it to the world and called it what. This is  because of the sound they make. Luckily for him, the scientific article with that name appeared only 6 years later, when the French zoologist Frédéric Cuvier had already baptized it with the name we all know it by.

Some bandits

Zoos that have red panda specimens have been warned that the animal is an “escape artist.” In Dresden (Germany), London and Birmingham (England), Rotterdam (Holland), these animals have turned their keepers upside down. The escape from Rusty of the Smithsonian National Zoo in 2013 captivated millions on Twitter until it was found in a nearby neighborhood.


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