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Red panda

Ailurus fulgens

Female red panda at Paignton Zoo
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammals
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ailuridae

Paignton Zoo is home to three red pandas, Ember and her two cubs Riya and Esha. They live at the top of the zoo opposite the spider monkeys. 

Also known as the ‘original panda’, red pandas are an unmistakable fiery red colour as suggested by their name. They are found in the wild in deciduous and coniferous forests of the eastern Himalayan mountains and southwestern China.

Like their distant black and white cousins, red pandas mostly eat bamboo shoots, but can also tuck in to grubs, berries and small eggs.

Interesting facts!

  • Red pandas are incredible climbers, being very at home in the trees. They have partially retractable claws and an extended wrist bone, that acts like a thumb!
  • They are solitary animals, only coming together to breed during the short mating season.
  • These mammals have adaptations to help survive in their cold native climate. The bottoms of their feet have thick, woolly fur and their ringed, bushy tail is used to keep them warm when sleeping.


Habitat destruction and fragmentation poses a huge threat to red pandas in the wild. There are thought to be no more than 10,000 mature individuals remaining today, with the IUCN Red List classing red pandas as Endangered.

The red panda has legal protection in several national parks within China and Nepal. Our red pandas are part of the EAZA ex-situ breeding programme (EEP) for the species.

Adopt a red panda

By adopting a red panda, your money will make a real contribution to our vital work for wildlife and the daily care of our red pandas.

Our adoption packs make a super gift for animal lovers of any age. Prices start from as little as £25 per year (that’s less than £3 a month!) with a variety of packs to choose from.