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What are some fun facts about the red panda?

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Quick Answer

The red panda, native to Nepal, northern Burma and central China, reaches a size similar to that of a house cat, making it much smaller than the well-known black-and-white panda. It has been classified as a relative of the giant panda and the raccoon; however, as of August 2014, the red panda is considered a member of its own family called the Ailuridae.

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Full Answer

The red panda is a shy species that prefers living in solitude, except when mating or, in the case of females, raising her young. Red pandas also spend most of their lives living in trees even when they are sleeping. Similar to the giant panda, they also possess an extended wrist bone that they use like a thumb, which helps their climbing abilities and helps them meet their foraging needs. They are most active at night and during the early dawn hours, which is when they forage for food. Red pandas eat bamboo, but unlike their larger counterparts, they also consume fruits, acorns, roots and eggs.

Logging and agricultural ventures have made the red panda a victim of deforestation. The number of living red pandas has dwindled over the years, and as of August 2014, the red panda is listed as an endangered species.

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