Is a red panda a bear, like the giant panda, you might ask?

Well, there were arguments about this for generations, but we're finally able to tell you the answer is... no. This is one panda which isn't a bear. They’re a one-of-a-kind in the animal kingdom as they have no close living relatives so they’ve been given a separate category all of their own – in the genus Ailurinae.

We’ve been successful at breeding red pandas here at the zoo, and we also play an important role in protecting the future of this rare species the wild.

The future survival of these beautiful little pandas is increasingly vulnerable as developers are taking over the bamboo forests which they depend on to live in China, the Himalayas and Nepal. Bamboo is the main food in their daily diet.

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Interesting facts

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Where they live: India, China, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar

Habitat: Temperate forests, bamboo thickets

Size: 50-64cm length, including tail

Weight: 3-6kg

Threats: Habitat loss; hunting; inbreeding, leading to weaker gene pool which means animals are more vulnerable to disease and deformity.

Scientific name: Ailurus fulgens fulgens