Monday, April 7, 2008

Red pandas

My husband and I have a membership to Zoo Atlanta. We like to go for a few hours and see all the animals. Our favorite animal there is the red panda, who we've named Firefox. He's usually asleep when we go, but if it's late enough then he's out and feasting on some tasty bamboo. Red pandas are most active at dawn and dusk, so it's not surprising that he's usually hiding away when we visit in the middle of the day!

Last time we saw the red panda out of his little hut, we took 62 pictures! I think this one is my favorite:


Red pandas look more like raccoons than bears. They have a bushy, striped tail and pointy ears. They have beautiful redish-brownish fur - I keep telling my husband that the red panda and I share hair color. :-) Like giant pandas, red pandas are also native to areas of China as well as other nearby countries like Nepal. They also live primarily on bamboo as well as berries and flower blossoms. They are endangered due to the destruction of their habitats and also poaching for their fur. There are estimated to be fewer than 2,500 adult red pandas.

Firefox 2Another name for a red panda is "Firefox", which is the inspiration for the internet browser by Mozilla. You can see how the red panda was the inspiration for their logo (to the left).

I think they are adorable animals, reminding me of cats. I hope they are able to rebound from their endangered status and once again become as common as teak furniture. Next time you go to the zoo, be sure to look out for a red panda!

See the rest of our zoo pictures here (including 7 other red panda pictures).

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