As an animal photographer, I have had the privilege of capturing the beauty of many different species. One species that always captures my heart is the red panda. These adorable creatures, with their distinctive reddish-brown fur and long bushy tails, are native to the temperate forests of the Himalayas. They are considered to be an endangered species, with their numbers declining due to habitat loss, poaching the need for their conservation in zoos around the world.

Red pandas are truly unique creatures and require specific habitats to thrive. At the zoo, they are kept in a large, naturalistic enclosure which mimics their native forest habitat. The enclosure is designed to give the red pandas plenty of climbing space, as they are naturally arboreal creatures and love to climb.

Top Facts About Red Pandas

  • Red pandas are native to the temperate forests of the Himalayas and are found in countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, and northern Myanmar.
  • They are arboreal creatures and are skilled climbers, using their tails for balance.
  • They are small in size, with adults reaching lengths of 50-64cm and weighing between 3-6kg.
  • Their diet primarily consists of bamboo, but they also eat fruits, berries, and leaves.
  • Red pandas have specialized digestive systems that allow them to extract the maximum amount of nutrition from tough bamboo stems.
  • Red pandas are nocturnal creatures and spend most of their day sleeping in trees.
  • They are solitary animals and have large territories, which they mark with scent glands.
  • They are excellent tree-haunters, able to jump from branch to branch with ease.
  • Their tails, which can reach up to 42cm in length, are used to keep them warm during cold weather.
  • They are a protected species and are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Ember the Red Panda - Image Source:
Ember the Red Panda - Image Source:

The upkeep of the red pandas and their enclosures requires significant resources. This includes the cost of food, equipment, and the maintenance of the enclosure. Zoos rely heavily on the support of the public, through donations and visitors, to sustain their operations and provide the necessary resources to care for the animals. This support is essential to ensure that the Red pandas receive the best possible care and attention.

One of the important aspects of caring for red pandas in zoos is providing them with a healthy and varied diet. Bamboo is their preferred food and makes up around 99% of their diet. They have a highly specialised digestive system, which allows them to extract the maximum amount of nutrition from the tough bamboo stems. Whilst bamboo is their primary food source, they also receive a variety of other items, including fruits and vegetables. This varied diet is essential for their overall health and well-being, as it provides them with the necessary nutrients they need to thrive.

In conclusion, red pandas are truly special creatures that deserve to be protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy. The zoos that house these animals play a vital role in their conservation and are dedicated to providing them with the best possible care. The support of the public, through donations and visiting the zoos, is essential to ensure that the red pandas receive the resources they need to thrive. If you have a chance to visit a zoo with red pandas, take the opportunity to see these magnificent creatures up close and make a donation to support their care.

Make a difference at Dudley Zoo

Your support can make a difference to the lives of these amazing animals. GardenSite is currently supporting our local zoo; Dudley Zoo in the West Midlands, by donating a potted bamboo plant which the zoo can plant outside of the enclosure in order to increase the zoo's natural supply. If you would also like to support the cause, you can adopt an animal such as Ember the red panda, or alternatively, make a monetary donation - both of which can be completed directly on their website: