Size: 22 to 24.6 inches long, with a tail of 14.6 to 18.6 inches.
Weight: Between 8.8 and 13.3 pounds.
Lifespan: Typically 12 to13 years but can live as long as 23 years
Color: Reddish-brown, black and white
Range: Red pandas can be found in Nepal, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Southern China.
Red Pandas share the same range as giant pandas. They are native to cool temperate bamboo forest regions of China and foothills of the Himalayas at elevations of 4,900 to 13,000 feet.
Their coat is soft, dense and long with a thick under-fur. Their face is light with dark markings. Red pandas have a long, bushy, reddish-brown tail with distinctly separate pale reddish rings which they use to cover their face and keep their noses warm in the cold.
The red panda is equipped with razor-sharp claws that are semi-retractable. Although classified as a carnivore, red pandas eat mainly bamboo leaves, grass and fruit. Occasionally they will eat an egg, insect or small animal. If a red panda feels threatened or senses danger, they may try to escape by climbing a rock column or tree. If they can no longer flee, they stand on their hind legs to make themselves appear larger and use their claws on their front paws to defend themselves.
Red pandas live solitary lives with the exception of mating season, which occurs between January and March. The gestation period is approximately 125 days, after which one to four cubs are born.
Worldwide population estimates range from fewer than 2,500 to between 16,000 and 20,000 individuals.
- Despite their name and common characteristics, red pandas are not closely related to the famous giant panda. Their closest living relative is the raccoon.
- The Chinese name for the red panda is “hun-ho,” meaning “fire fox.”