What do red pandas eat?
Red pandas may have the digestive system of a carnivore, but they are practically vegetarians. About 95% of their diet is bamboo! They eat the nutritious leaf tips and tender shoots, but skip the culm (woody stem). They also forage for roots, grasses, fruits, insects and grubs. Red pandas may sometimes hunt birds and small mammals, too.
At the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, red pandas eat leafeater biscuits, bamboo and bamboo shoots (when in season). As enrichment treats, they like to snack on apples, grapes, bananas, blueberries and other produce.
What is a group of red pandas called?
A group of red pandas can be called a pack, but they rarely encounter each other. Red pandas are solitary except during the breeding season when it’s not uncommon to see a male and female pair (or even a male and two females). Baby red pandas usually arrive in late spring to early summer (in the northern hemisphere) and stay with their mothers for about a year before heading out on their own.
In zoos, some red pandas live in pairs based on their individual personalities and the size of their exhibit.
Are red pandas good climbers?
Absolutely. Whether napping, sunbathing or fleeing predators, red pandas spend most of their time in trees and are skilled climbers. They can even climb down a tree trunk head-first — thanks to very flexible ankles and the positioning of the fibula and tibia bones in their legs. Sharp claws and fur-covered feet also help red pandas grip as they climb.