Peter is an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer with over 50 years of work within zoos.
International Red Panda Day takes place each year on September the 17th (third Saturday in September. This day of celebration first took place in 2010 and was launched by the Red Panda Network to draw attention to the importance to the conservation issues surrounding the Red Panda Ailurus fulgens.
The Red Panda is a small attractive reddish colored carnivore with a long barred bushy tail. It is only very distantly related to the Giant Panda with which it shares its common name. As the Red Panda sometimes known as the Lesser Panda is its own and completely separate family, the Ailuridae. There are two species of Red Panda, The Himalayan Red Panda Ailurus fulgens and the Chinese Red Panda Ailurus fulgens styani.
The first captive bred Red Pandas, two females, were released into the Singalila National Park by the Darjeeling Zoo in 2003.
In 2022 the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park here released two pairs of captive-born red pandas into the wild within the same park.
Zoos the World over celebrate Red Panda Day to draw attention to this delightful and different important little carnivore. Why different? Well, like the Giant Panda a large part of its diet is made up of Bamboo though it does also eat birds eggs, fruit, chicks, small mammals too.
The main threats to the Red Panda are habitat destruction and fragmentation. There is poaching too for skins and body parts for folk medicine.
There is a well managed captive population and an International Studbook.
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