Every year on the third Saturday in September, International Red Panda Day is celebrated. Red pandas are struggling due to a decrease in the possibilities available to live and thrive in their native environment. International Red Panda Day seeks to inspire people to learn more about these beautiful species and to help conserve the habitat in which they reside. This year, the day will be celebrated on September 18.
The precise number of wild individuals of the species is unknown today, although some estimates place it at only 10,000 adult individuals, making it an endangered species according to the IUCN list.
On the occasion of International Red Panda Day, we’re here with some lesser-known facts about this adorable and fluffy animal. Check it out:
1. Red pandas are native to the eastern Himalayas, where they can still be seen roaming around. These mammals spend most of their lives on trees, even sleeping there. They are primarily nocturnal foragers, although they also feed during the twilight hours between dusk and morning.
2. They are smaller than many people realize, due to their association with the giant panda. In reality, these little critters grow to about the size of a house cat, while their long, bushy tails add an extra 18 inches to their length.
3. Pandas are mostly solitary creatures who like to live and dwell on their own. They don’t normally get together for social reasons and only get together as a couple during mating seasons when they communicate through body language such as a nod of the head or an arch of the tail.
4. These fluffy animals are not bears in the traditional sense. They are the only members of their taxonomic family, the Ailuridae, still alive. This implies that they are not related to giant pandas, but that they share certain characteristics with them, such as a fondness for bamboo. They look like raccoons rather than bears.
5. Snow is a favorite among red pandas. In fact, due to the contrast between the color of their fur and the snow, a wintry day can be one of the best times to see a red panda in the outdoor habitat of its zoo. In addition, their lifespan is only 23 years, and after the age of 12, female red pandas usually do not breed.
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