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Red pandas have distinctive soft, deep-red fur and white face markings. Like giant pandas, they have a "thumb" that allows them to grasp branches and hold the branches while they eat. Red pandas inhabit temperate forests in southern China, Nepal, northeastern India and northern Burma, spending most of the day asleep high in trees and descending only at dusk to search for food.

Red pandas are an endangered species threatened by hunting, habitat destruction and deforestation. Zoos have taken a special interest in the study and conservation of red pandas. At the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., more than 100 red pandas have been born since 1966. The National Zoo currently has two red pandas on exhibit, Quentin and Luke.

Learn how you can support red panda conservation by making a donation through Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) to "Adopt" a panda! Please click here!

Quentin the Red Panda by Jessie Cohen / NZP
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