INTERNATIONAL RED PANDA DAY
During the third Saturday in September, International Red Panda Day dedicates a day to learning about about red pandas. Join the campaign to raise awareness about saving their habitats.
Red pandas are much smaller than the more familiar black and white pandas. In fact, red pandas are not related to giant pandas at all. Red pandas weigh between 12 to 20 pounds, which is about the size of a housecat. These adorable mammals live in the trees of the Himalaya Mountains. The Red panda’s popularity in Asia features them in cartoons and as team mascots. However, only about 10,000 red pandas live in the wild. Because of deforestation, poaching, and the illegal pet trade, red pandas are endangered.
Here are some fun facts about red pandas:
- Their fur is the color of cinnamon and keeps them warm in cold climates.
- Red pandas eat mostly bamboo.
- They were discovered in 1825, before the giant panda.
- Other names for the red panda include bear-cat, firefox, and Himalayan raccoon.
- Although they resemble raccoons, they have no living relatives.
According to the Red Panda Network, red pandas symbolize of life. Red pandas help to keep forests healthy, the water clean, and the ecosystem vibrant. Saving the red panda helps combat global climate change as well as protect the ecological integrity of South Asia.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalRedPandaDay
Many conservation organizations, along with schools and zoos all around the world, celebrate International Red Panda Day. Some zoos celebrate by having informational presentations about red pandas. In China, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding visits schools in rural areas where red pandas live. In Nepal, communities celebrate with speech competitions and film viewings. Many other organizations host activities that educate the public on the importance of red panda conservation.
If you want to take part in International Red Panda Day, check with your local zoo to see if they have any activities. Donate to the Red Panda Network or another group that strives to protect the red panda. Encourage your child to become a Red Panda Ranger to help spread the word about red pandas. You can also share an image of a red panda on social media with #InternationalRedPandaDay.
INTERNATIONAL RED PANDA DAY HISTORY
The Red Panda Network launched International Red Panda Day in 2010. At that time, 16 schools and a few zoos participated in red panda activities. Currently, more than 60 zoos around the world participate, with over 100,000 visitors on Red Panda Day.