Far beyond its quiet life in the mountains, the red panda has become an exotic celebrity with its soft features. Its cinnamon red fur and soft undercoat provide warmth from the mountain chill, and its long, bushy tail acts as a wraparound blanket (and helps with maintaining balance.)
Despite living in pockets of the cool and rainy mountain forests of Nepal, India, Bhutan, northern Myanmar (Burma), and central China, 5 million-year-old fossils of ancient red pandas have even been found in North America.
The origin of the name panda comes from the Nepali term ‘nigalva ponva’ which translates to bamboo-eater; 95% of the red panda's diet is bamboo. The Sherpas living in Nepal and Sikkim still use this name today.
Scientific Name: Ailurus fulgens
Local Name (Dialect): निगल्वा पोंवा / Nigalva Ponva (Nepali)
Location: Bhutan; China; India; Myanmar; Nepal