Life Span: 12-17 years (average 8-10 years in captivity)
Which Family? The classification of Red Pandas has been hotly debated. They have previously been classed as a bear, a cat and a racoon, but are now in their own family.
Local Name: They have a local name, ‘Nigala ponya’, which is Nepalese for “bamboo eater”.
Thumb-like Wrists: Their wrists are adapted to work like thumbs, just like the Giant Panda.
Low Energy Diet: They can spend up to 13 hours a day foraging for and eating bamboo, of which they only extract about 25% of its energy. Their low metabolic rate is comparable to that of a tree sloth.
Camouflage: Red fur helps to camouflage them into the red- brown lichen that grows in the area.
Furry Feet: Soles of feet are covered in fur to keep them warm. It also helps red pandas to not slip on wet branches.
Scent Marking: Red pandas scent-mark their territory with droppings, urine and powerful musk-like secretions from the anal glands.