08/09/2017 in Highland Wildlife Park
RZSS Highland Wildlife Park are celebrating International Red Panda Day with a range of fun filled red panda activities. International Red Panda Day, on 17 September 2017, is used to highlight the plight of these endangered animals and help raise awareness of the threats they face in wild.
Visitors to the Park will be able to take part in fun-filled activities throughout the day, with one lucky winner having the opportunity to feed the Park’s resident red pandas. A number of other great prizes will also be given out on the day.
Daska Mackintosh, Head of Operations and Visitors Services at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park, said:
“We are really pleased to be celebrating International Red Panda Day here at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park on 17 September. Kitty and Kevyn, our resident pair of red pandas, are firm favourites with our visitors and it's great to be able to tell people all about this fascinating species.
“Red pandas are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, so it is important that we do what we can to raise awareness of the threats these well-known animals face in the wild. Earlier this year, we were delighted to welcome two new kits that were born to the pair in June, and it has been very exciting to see them grow and slowly start to emerge from the den.”
With a Sunday filled with keepers talks, red panda information, games and quizzes, there is something for everyone at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park this September. There will also be the chance to help name our new red panda mascot, who will be making appearances throughout the day.
Red pandas are natives to the Himalayas in Nepal, Bhutan, India and southern China. The species has a long, bushy, striped tail, pointy ears, and distinctive white face markings.
The red panda was once thought to be a direct relative of the giant panda as they also have a modified wrist bone that acts like a thumb – very handy for holding bamboo stems – they were also thought to be related to racoons but more recent research places them in a family of their own.
Although much smaller than giant pandas, red pandas enjoy feeding on bamboo just as much; however, their diet is more varied and includes fruit, roots, succulent grasses, acorns, lichens, bird eggs, insects and grubs.
Red pandas are ideally adapted for life in a cold climate, with thick fuzzy fur and bear-like feet that help keep them insulated on snowy or icy ground, as well as a long bushy tail that acts like a blanket.