Red Panda (small) - An unusual and cute animal that lives in the Himalayan mountains.
She is characterized by a calm character and easily gets along in captivity. Due to their non-standard bright color, interesting behavior and lifestyle, a lot of experts on the animal world and ordinary people show interest in the panda.
Not everyone knows about the existence of the red panda, although very many almost every day see this animal on their monitors. Exactly this animal is depicted on the logo of the famous Mozilla Firefox browser. Yes, it is the red panda, and not me, the fox, as many people think.
Where did the name come from?
As early as the 13th century, the first written records of this species of mammals were noticed in China. But in Europe, the little panda was first discovered only in the 19th century. General Thomas Hardwick, who proposed to call these animals the letter “wah,” is officially considered the “discoverer”, it is these sounds that the panda usually makes.
The main name "Ailurus fulgens", which means a shining cat, was given by Professor Frederic Cuvier, who brazenly took advantage of the fact that Thomas returned home for a long time.
The size of the red panda is relatively small, about the size of a large domestic cat.
The small panda has a body length of 50 to 65 cm. The body is oblong with thick and fluffy hair. Due to the increased fluffiness, the body of the animal seems to be larger than it actually is. The head is large in proportion to the rest of the body. The paws of the beast are curved and small. On the feet there is increased hairiness, which serves to move on snow and ice. When walking, the paws do not completely touch the surface. Small fingers have curved claws that can be retracted and extended. There is also a kind of extra finger, thanks to which the panda can hold various objects (bamboo branches, leaves) with its front paws.
Thanks to the unusual color, many experts call this beast a red panda. The coat is bright red above, and dark or brown shades appear closer to the lower part of the body. The most interesting color is the panda's face. The ears, nose, cheeks and eyebrows are white, which in contrast with a red tint looks very unusual, and the pattern for each individual is different.
Thanks to this color, the animal can safely hide from predators among mosses and lichens.
During the day, the panda mainly sleeps in the hollow, and in the evening and at night leads an active lifestyle. In most cases, it moves through trees. On the ground, the animal feels uncomfortable, moves very slowly, although eating takes place on the ground. The panda eats bamboo leaves and shoots, also berries, mushrooms and even small rodents are included in the diet. And although these animals are classified as predators, animal food occupies a minimal part of the diet.
The main breeding period is the month of January. The term of development of the fetus is about 50 days, although from the mating to the birth itself, it can take from 90 to 150 days. The difference is called diapause, since conception occurs much later than mating.
Childbirth and maturation occur in a pre-woven nest. After birth, for a period of time, babies do not see or hear anything. Maturation occurs slowly, the average age of puberty is about 1.5 years.
Threatened with extinction
The red panda is listed as a Red Book with Endangered Status. The total number of individuals of this species is about 2500.
And although the area of residence of the red pandas is significant, and the number of enemies is small, the main threat to life is the intensive deforestation and poaching.
Fortunately, these animals easily breed in captivity. The number of animals that were born in zoos has already reached 350 individuals. But they give birth no more than 1 time per year, and the mortality rate in natural conditions is high and, unfortunately, at the moment this species of animals is still under threat of extinction.