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Il mondo degli animali: i nostri coabitanti

The Cutest Animal in the World: The Himalayan Red Panda

2021-08-13
Lingua:English
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Our family, the Himalayan red panda, can be found in parts of Nepal, Bhutan, northern India, northern Myanmar, Tibet, and the western Yunnan Province of China. I have a beautiful red color to my fur and my species only grows to the size of a very large domestic cat. We were named pandas almost 50 years before our better known, giant black and white panda cousins were.

Did you know that we are mostly active at night, and look for food at dawn and dusk? I guess you can call us night owls. We can run down trees head first too, as those thumbs of ours are really handy! We can live up to 10 or even 15 years of age, and are also known by other names such as the “lesser panda” and the “red bear-cat,” but being called the red panda is my favorite as my red fur is totally unique!

We red pandas love climbing, and we aren’t afraid of heights. Bamboo is our main food source. When we wake up from our lovely naps, we also groom ourselves like cats do, by licking our paws and then combing our fur. We like to look good at all times…

Sadly, my beautiful family of gentle and loving red pandas is also hunted for our fur. Moumita Chakraborty, a researcher of red pandas at EDGE, a conservation program hosted at international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London), said that red pandas are illegally hunted in some countries for their highly valued bushy tail, which is used to produce hats. Isn’t that just terrible? Moumita Chakraborty also said, “Due to the fragmentation of their natural habitat, small numbers, and niche food requirements, their number border on the brink of extinction.”

Fortunately, we still have some protected habitats, including 49 in China, 11 in India, 10 in Nepal, 3 in Myanmar, 8 in Bhutan, and the six biological corridors in Bhutan. You can help save us by “adopting a red panda” with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a non-profit organization and a Shining World Compassion Award recipient. You can also help to secure our forests that are outside the protected areas as these are important habitats for us too.

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