The range of the red panda includes Nepal, the northern state of Sikkim and the eastern state of Assam in India, Bhutan, northern Myanmar (Burma) and the provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan in south-central China and along the border of Tibet.
The red panda inhabits mountains, temperate forests and bamboo thickets at elevations of 6,000-13,000 feet. They prefer colder temperatures.
- The red panda’s body is 20-25 inches (51-64 cm) long, with an 11-19 inch (28-48 cm) tail.
- Males weigh from 10 to 14 pounds (4.5-6.3 kg); females are smaller weighing six to 10 pounds (3- 4.5 kg).
- They have soft, dense reddish fur on the back. Their legs and underside are dark and there is some white on their face and ears.
- The bushy tail has six distinctive yellowish rings.
What Does It Eat?
In the wild: Bamboo, berries, blossoms, bird eggs and the small leaves of other plants. They may also eat mice, birds, vegetables, fruits, acorns and roots.
At the zoo: Leafeater biscuits, panda biscuits, grapes and bamboo.
What Eats It?
Snow leopards prey on the red panda.
In the wild, red pandas are generally solitary but sometimes travel in pairs or small family groups.
Red pandas are sexually mature at about 18 months. Mating season is from January to March. After a gestation of 90-150 days, the female gives birth to between one and four cubs in a nest built of sticks, grasses and leaves. The cubs are born blind but fully covered with hair. Their eyes open when they are 18 days old, and they leave the nest for the first time at about 90 days. The young are weaned at about five months, and once they are able to eat solid food begin leaving the nest at night. They remain with their mother until they are about a year old. Life span in the wild is unknown but they live about 14 years in captivity.