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Zoo location: 
Scientific Name: 
Ailurus fulgens
Species class: 
Population Trend: 
Quick Facts

Life Span: 12-17 years (average 8-10 years in captivity)

Size: 50-64cms

Weight: 3-6kgs

Fun Facts

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.

Distribution Map: 

The Red Panda is a small mammal with a deep rusty-red coloured body and a striped tail. Cream and red facial markings give it a striking masked appearance. This fur provides excellent camouflage against the red-brown lichen found growing throughout their habitat. Its short legs, large claws and textured foot pads make it well equipped for a tree living, or arboreal, lifestyle. 

At Taronga:

At Taronga Zoo we currently have 2 Red Pandas: males Shayton/Mayhem (DOB: 01/01/2000) and Seba (DOB: Dec 2010).

Seba is the 45th Red Panda born at Taronga Zoo since 1977.

Mayhem & Wanmei (Seba’s parents) have had three successful litters at Taronga Zoo.

Mayhem got his nickname from his bad behaviour on a morning television program when he was just a cub. His real name is ‘Shaytan’ which means mischievous person in a North Indian dialect.

There used to be a red panda named Meesing, named because she used to always go missing. One time when she went missing, she ended up at the nearby Middle Head army barracks. Another time, a Mosman mother was greeted by Meesing when she was hanging out the laundry. This mother’s backyard was full of bamboo, a treat for any red panda.

There was also an escape in 2010 but Mayhem only made it to the car park that time! 

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