Red Panda Facts

Red Panda Facts

Red Panda Facts

Ailurus fulgens (Cuvier)

Local Name: Rato Panda or Habraee

Red Panda Facts, The exact relationship between the two living species of Red and White pandas is still the subject of controversy among zoologists. The zoologists of the past included the Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in the bear family and raccoon family, but now zoologists once more believe that the White or Giant pandas rightly belong to the bear family. The Giant pandas’ nearest kin is the Red panda which is more close to a raccoon than a bear. It is no wonder that many experts seeking to answer the problem of classification place the pandas in a family of their own, the Ailuropodiae. Among the interesting wildlife of Nepal, the panda, or car bear, is unique in its kind. It is the last living witness of bygone ages and, therefore, deserves special mention. The Red panda is on the list of endangered fauna of the world.

A few people knew about this playful animal until 150 years ago. It was the French missionary, Pe’re David who was the first to hear about it in 1869. He never saw the animal alive. The first live Red panda was caught in 1936 and taken to a zoo in America. A female panda named Ming was brought to London in 1939 and in 1946 engrossed the attention of zoologists such as Sir W. Flower, who described its anatomy, and Dr. Mivart, who studied its salient morpholocial features, habits, and habitats. Many aspects of the biology of the Red pandas are still obscure.

The local name given to it differs from place to place. In Nepal, it is called Bhalu Biralo, Habre, Ye Niglva Ponva, and Wah Donka in the Bhotia language. In the Lepcha language, it is known by the name of Sak nam.

The Red panda is a mammal of the order of carnivores belonging to the family Procyonidae, forming a natural group with a raccoon. Rod panda as an inhabitant of the montane forest zone is rarely seen due to its nocturnal habits. Its presence may be detected by its distinctive call. In Langtang valley, it is seen between 2,440m and 3,050 m. Its favorite abode is Abies spectabilis forest. It is also found inTaplajung (Dobate) in Nepal, Darjeeling, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh of India. Extralimitally it occurs in S. China and N. Burma.

Red Panda Morphology


The Red panda measures head and body 2ft. (60 cm), tail sixteen inches. (40 cm). It weighs about 4 kg (9 lbs). Red pandas have glossy fur of reddish, rich auburn color, and a white, somewhat catlike face. Its head is round, the ear is erect and pointed. Anatomically speaking the panda’s “thumb” is one of the evolution makeshift. It is not a digit at all, but a crude extension of the animal wrist bone, the radial sesamoid.

Red Panda Habitat

Red Panda Behavior


The family life of this attractive animal is obscure. A weak unearthly whistling or squeaking note is given out when it is disturbed or separated from its mate. This resembles the chirping of a bird. The whistling and chirping sound thus may be a means of communication. The courtship mating behavior of this animal resembles that of cats. It has been observed that stress and excitement give out a strong odor produced from the anal scent glands. The odor may be the means of defense and sexual attraction. The panda in captivity rubs the glandular area of the anal gland against a rough surface over which it moves living a scent trail that might well serve as a single to another individual.

Red Panda Breeding Behavior


A pregnant Red panda in Padmaja Naidu Himalaya Zoological Park was supplied with 75 grams of Suji in gruel from mixed form mixed up with 50 gm of sugar, ¼ tin of condensed milk, and two eggs. Besides these green bamboo shoots were supplied in abundance. The food was supplied with vitamins and minerals. Lahiri (1982) studied the breeding of Red pandas in zoo conditions. In Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park of Darjeeling, he managed a den for Red pandas. The resting den for pregnant panda is made by using a split bamboo wicker basket called Doko. The Doko is draped inside by a thick layer of straw so as to make the inside quite warm and comfortable.

Further, the opening end of the basket is covered by Hessian cloth to shield free entrance of air. Such nesting dens were well accepted by the Red pandas. Lahiri (1982) noticed the mating of red pandas in first week of March (1983). In natural hollow trees or rocks, crevice is used as a nursery. Crandell (1964) recorded breeding Red pandas between June and July. The observation of Lahiri was confirmed by his record. Lahiri recorded birth of three cubs. The opening of the eyes of cubs took place after 14 days. But Crandell reported time of eye-opening to be 30 days after birth.

Red Panda Parental Care in Captivity


According to Lahiri (1982), the mother Red panda used successfully a bamboo basket (Doko) for rearing her young. She handled baby with extra care. She picked up crawling baby out of Doko with her mouth, making a grip on their neck with the help of her teeth. The cubs were reared in entire darkness; only after 90 days when they are fully well-grown mother licked meticulously every part of the body. The fecal material and urine were thus removed by constant licking. The cubs were entirely protected by the mother and not allowed to touch. Lahiri (1982) also studied parental care. He noticed a mother panda take her baby to her lap soon after and gave it such. The baby panda suckled mother milk all the long with a short gap. The sucking intensity was found to be gradually diminishing as the cub grew larger and stronger.

Red Panda in Dobate, Taplejung

Red Panda in Dobate, Taplejung

Red Panda Color Changes in Young


Lahiri (1982) noticed buff color in young Red pandas. It is replaced later by a chestnut brown coat. A color change occurred within three months of growth. The cubs started eating food offered by their mother they were 90 days old. They were also seen nibbling on bamboo leaves with their mother.

As a Charming Pet


The panda is a charming pet. It is easily tamed and can thrive even in a hot climate, though it lives in the temperate belt of the Himalayas. People who see it are impressed by its exquisite playfulness, greyish red display of its coat, whitish face, and long bushy tail.

Source: Wildlife of Nepal

Red Panda Tour in Nepal


Tour of Red Panda, itinerary focuses on Dobate Village of Ilam district for seeing the lesser panda. Red Pandas are skillful climbers that spend most of their time in the trees curled up with their long, bushy tails wrapped around their heads. Their thick reddish-brown fur offers additional protection from the cold, often harsh, mountain weather. We’ll give you a guide while you’re on this itinerary. You can also experience the day-to-day activities of the typical rural village in the Ilam district of Nepal.

Red Panda Habitat


Living in 36 different mountain districts, there are around 1000 red pandas in Nepal. It is one of the most endangered species in the country as well as the whole world. The majority of the red pandas of Nepal are protected inside the national park. Also, there are some communities of red pandas in Eastern Nepal in the districts like Ilam, Panchthar, and Taplejung where there are not any national parks or wildlife reserves yet is home to one-fourth of pandas. There are some non-profit organizations that are working to save the pandas of this region.

The Red Panda Community and Red Panda Network are the organizations that are working since 2007 to spread awareness among local people and actions to protect the various endangered species through their habitat management, sustainable livelihood, and awareness building.

Red Panda Tour Itinerary


Day 01: Flight to Bhadrapur and drive to Ilam Bazar
Day 02: Drive to Dobate from Ilam Bazar
Day 03: Red Panda Tracking
Day 04: Red Panda Tracking
Day 05: Red Panda Tracking
Day 06: Drive back to Ilam Bazar
Day 07: Fly back to Kathmandu


Recommended Package for Red Penda Tour:


Red Panda Tour in Nepal

Royal Bengal Tiger Tour in Nepal

Protected Areas of Nepal