National Zoo & Aquarium

Hi! I’m Ari the Red Panda

Despite sharing the name, red pandas are not related to the black and white giant panda. They are classed in their own subfamily within the racoon family. However, like giant pandas, they are classed as a carnivore, but are mainly vegetarian. They eat berries, blossoms, leaves, fruits, acorns, bird eggs and large quantities of bamboo. The red pandas stomach and digestive system is similar to other carnivores, having a simple stomach and a short intestine (meaning it is designed to digest meat not plant matter). This means it cannot properly digest the bamboo and therefore gets very little nutrition from it. To overcome this problem the red panda has a very low metabolism rate and spends most of the day eating.

As with many threatened species these days, one of their biggest threats is competition with humans. The natural habitat that has supported these, and many other animals for thousands of years, is rapidly being destroyed. Various conservation organisations such as the Red Panda Network are working to preserve and protect their remaining habitat and give hope for their ongoing survival.

Red Panda

Learn more about Red Pandas on our Red Panda Encounter

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Red Panda Facts

Conservation Status Endangered
Distribution Nepal, India, south-west China, Laos, Myanmar, Bhutan
Weight 3–6kg
Length 55cm
Life Span 12–14 years
Gestation 110–145 days

Learn more about Red Pandas on our Red Panda Encounter

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Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla, Canberra, ACT 2611

We are open every day except Christmas day 9.30am until 5.00pm

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