Is It Legal to Own a Red Panda As a Pet?

Susanne Nilsson/CC-BY-2.0

It is against U.S. and international law to acquire or own a red panda as a pet. The only legal reason for acquiring red pandas is for scientific research.

Red pandas are often thought of as cute and are highly desirable as personal pets. However, they are considered vulnerable to extinction by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and classified as a CITES I species that cannot be traded for any commercial reason. Red pandas are solitary undomesticated animals that prefer to live alone. The hunting and poaching of red pandas, which is the largest cause of their decline worldwide, is driven by the illegal trade of red pandas as pets and for pelts.