Ailurus fulgens fulgens
At the Detroit Zoo
Three red pandas live in the Holtzman Wildlife Foundation Red Panda Forest: male Ravi, born in 2016; female Ash, born in 2015; and female Ta-Shi, born in 2005. The habitat features more than 14,000 square feet of naturalistic space with a flowing stream and waterfall, an arboreal pathway through the habitat, misting areas to cool the red pandas in the summer, land for exploration and a variety of nesting places. A rope bridge extends 80 feet through the trees in the red pandas’ habitat and provides unparalleled views of these arboreal animals for adventurous guests.
As its name suggests, the red panda’s fur is mostly a rusty-red color. It has white markings on its ears, cheeks, muzzle and above its eyes. Its bushy tail is ringed with light and dark variations of the rusty-red color. Its fur also covers the soles of its feet to help give it traction and prevent it from falling off slippery, wet branches.
The red panda, like the giant panda, has an extended wrist bone that acts like a thumb and allows it to easily hold onto bamboo.
In the past, the red panda has been classified as a relative to the raccoon and the giant panda. Now, it is listed as its own scientific family – the Ailuridae.