Red Panda 2
The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a small arboreal mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. It is slightly larger than a domestic cat, having an omnivorous diet feeding on mainly on bamboo, insects, birds, eggs and small mammals. It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day. The red panda has been classified as Vulnerable by IUCN because its population is estimated at fewer than 10,000 mature individuals.
Zoos are increasingly recognising their role both in conservation and in education, becoming more naturalistic in environment, focusing more on species preservation and scientific research and less on entertainment. The pressure of vanishing and unprotected habitats worldwide forces the consideration of captive management, as for many species - zoos are likely to be the last stop on the way to extinction.