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  • Little Panda at Zurich Zoo

    red panda

    Ailurus fulgens fulgens

    The red panda feeds mainly on bamboo and other plants. An extended wrist bone, which functions like a real thumb, forms a sixth finger. This allows the animal to easily strip leaves from bamboo and better grasp fruits.
    To drink, the red panda dips its paw into a puddle or stream and then licks the water off its paw. It grooms its fur like a cat. With the licked, moist paws he "washes" his fur. The rearing of the young is also peculiar. The red panda builds a nest like a bird. After birth, the young remain in it for up to three months.

    Related to Carnivores, "dog-like" carnivorans, red panda (2 subspecies)
    Habitat Evergreen forests with bamboo and rhododendron up to the tree line at 4000 meters above sea level
    Mode of life Crepuscular and nocturnal, foraging in trees, rarely on the ground
    Social structure Solitary, rarely in pairs or small groups
    Diet Bamboo, acorns, berries, eggs, small birds
    Weight Females up to 4.5 kg, males up to 6 kg, newborns 110 to 130 g
    Head-torso length 60 cm
    Shoulder height 28 cm
    Tail length 55 cm
    Gestation time 112 - 158 days
    Litter size 1 to 2 young, rarely up to 4 young, altriciality
    Age of sexual maturity After 18 months
    Life expectancy Up to 15 years
    Utilization Fur for caps (China)
    Population trend Less than 10'000 animals, divided into two subspecies
    At Zurich Zoo since 1954, internationally coordinated breeding (EEP)


    Verbreitungskarte Kleiner Panda


    D. Gygax, Oetwil an der Limmat
    P. Gysi, Zürich

    Conservation status

    IUCN RedList

    Breeding programme