Saturday 21st September, marked International Red Panda Day and aimed to raise awareness of this endangered and much loved species.
Worryingly, the global red panda population has declined over the last 20 years with reports of less than 10,000 remaining in the wild.
Deforestation and the degradation of the red panda habitat throughout the mountains of South Asia together with attacks from dogs and the illegal trade in red pandas has left the population in a very vulnerable state.
Brooke Porteous, Australia Zoo Keeper said that red pandas predominantly live in trees and are primarily herbivores.
“As the red panda diet is mostly made up of bamboo that does not easily re-grow in disturbed areas, their food supply is being depleted through land clearing and this puts the species at risk when they go in search of food through unsuitable habitat,” Brooke said.
“These little guys are not only incredibly cute, they also serve a very important purpose in their natural habitat as they contribute to healthy forests, clean water, vibrant ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods.”
It is important that we protect these beautiful animals as red pandas face an uncertain future without our protection.
“Visitors to Australia Zoo can pre-book an encounter to meet our gorgeous red panda resident, Ravi and learn all about this precious species with the proceeds going towards important conservation projects,” Brooke said.
To celebrate International Red Panda Day, Australia Zoo’s own Crikey! Magazine is also offering subscribers the chance to win a red panda encounter with Bindi! All new and renewed magazine subscriptions completed by October 31, 2019 will go into the draw.