Geographical Range Himalayas (in southern Asia)
Habitat Bamboo forests in mountain areas
Scientific Name Ailurus fulgens fulgens
Conservation Status Endangered

The red panda is a cousin of the raccoon, while the more famous giant panda is more closely related to bears. These engaging animals make their home in mountain forests and bamboo thickets, where they live in small groups or alone. They are active mainly at night and spend their days sleeping in trees, out of the reach of most predators. Red pandas are primarily vegetarians, with bamboo shoots a favorite food, but they also eat small animals.

The number of wild red pandas is declining as their bamboo forests are cleared for human development.

Did You Know?

The extra "thumb" on a red panda's front paws is a modified wrist bone that allows the animal to easily grasp bamboo.