Saturday, September 16, 2023

Today is International Red Panda Day

Last month when my husband, grandsons, and I visited John Ball Zoo, one of our favorite animals we saw was the Red Panda. Today is International Red Panda Day, so I am very happy to write about these wonderful animals today!

When I was a child I had never heard of Red Pandas - I knew what Giant Pandas were, but not Red Pandas. However; Red Pandas were "discovered" in 1825 - fifty years before the more common Giant Pandas, making Red Pandas the "first" and "original" panda. Let's learn some more fun facts about the wonderful Red Panda - did you know . . .

  • Red Pandas are not related to Giant Pandas - they are more closely related to raccoons, wolverines, otters, and weasels.
  • They are called "red bear-cat" and cubs use high-pitched whistles to get their mom’s attention when they are hungry.
  • Red pandas have a pseudo-thumb: an enlarged, modified wrist bone they use for climbing trees and grabbing bamboo stems and tree branches.
  • A red panda's tail can measure from 12 to 20 inches long — that’s almost the length of their body — which provides them with supreme balance while navigating the treetops. They will also use these tails as wraparound blankets in their chilly mountain habitat.
  • While usually quiet creatures, red pandas make a variety of sounds including tweets, squeals, grunts, hisses, and even a "huff-quack".
  • The white on the red panda's face is "almost luminescent" and can guide a mother's lost cubs in the darkness! 
You will learn more about Red Pandas at this link and in my book Blue Dragons, Red Pandas, Hoopoes & More which you will find at this link.

Gather the ones you love and visit a zoo where they have Red Pandas, or read a book, or watch a video about these amazing animals and then help others learn about them as well - celebrate Red Pandas - the Original Panda!

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