The Red Panda

The red panda (Ailurus fulgens), also called the lesser panda, is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. It has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs; it is roughly the size of a domestic cat, though with a longer body and somewhat heavier. It is arboreal, feeds mainly on bamboo, but also eats eggs, birds, and insects. It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day. The red panda has been classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature because its wild population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals and continues to decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression, although red pandas are protected by national laws in their range countries. It is the only living species of the genus Ailurus and the family Ailuridae, which is part of the superfamily Musteloidea, along with the weasel, racoon, and skunk families. Two subspecies are recognised. It is not closely related to the giant panda, which is a basal ursid. Credit: Wikipedia.