Fifteen Red Panda facts

Red Panda
  1. The Red Panda is a small arboreal mammal and the only species of the genus Ailurus.
  2. The name ‘Panda’ is the Nepalese word for red panda, ‘Nigalya poonya’, which means ‘eater of bamboo’.
  3. A female red panda can eat approximately 200,000 bamboo leaves in one day, spending as much as 16 hours on eating.
  4. Slightly larger than a domestic cat, the Red panda has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs.
  5. The first acknowledged written account of the red panda goes back to the 13th-century during Chou dynasty scroll. Red panda was presented to Europeans by Thomas Hardwicke in 1821, who called it ‘Wah’ and gave the little animal its local identify as ‘poonya’, which was eventually anglicized to ‘panda’.
  6. Endemic to the temperate forests of the Himalayas, the Red Panda ranges from Nepal in the west to China in the east. It is also found in northern India, Bhutan and northern Myanmar.

  7. A red panda is known by many names, the few popular ones being bear-cat, bright panda, cat-bear, fire fox, lesser panda, petit panda and its aboriginal name poonya.
  8. The Red Panda is quite adaptable to living in captivity and is common in zoos worldwide. As of 2006 the international studbook listed more than 800 individuals in zoos and parks around the world.
  9. Accurate population figures in the wild are difficult to find, with estimates ranging from 11,000 to 20,000 worldwide.
  10. Red panda is about the size of a raccoon and weighs 7 to 14 pounds. It is about 20 to 26 inches in length, with its tail an additional 12 to 20 inches.
  11. You will find it interesting to know that red pandas have partially retractable claws. Like giant pandas, red pandas have an extra ‘thumb’, which is simply an enlarged bone for grabbing bamboo stems.
  12. Red Panda is the state animal in the Indian state of Sikkim.
  13. The Red Panda was recognized as the state animal of Sikkim in the early 1990s, and was the mascot of the Darjeeling tea Festival.
  14. While the male panda is referred to as a boar or he-bear, the female is called sow or she-bear. The offspring, or a baby Panda, is referred to as a cub.
  15. The Firefox browser is sometimes said to have been named after a Chinese name for Red Panda: 火狐, or "fire fox."