International Red Panda Day: Protect our cute fluffy friends

Do you know that red pandas were given the name "panda" about 50 years earlier than giant pandas?

Like their black-and-white counterparts, red pandas love bamboo, but they also eat fruit, flowers and eggs. It is said that the name panda comes from the Nepali word "ponya," which means bamboo or plant eating animal.

There are now two distinct red panda species: the Chinese red panda and the Himalayan red panda. They look almost the same. However, Chinese red pandas have redder fur and striped tail rings, while Himalayan pandas have whiter faces. In China, red pandas mostly inhabit the southwestern provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan.

International Red Panda Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of September each year. Classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List, there are fewer than 10,000 red pandas living in the wild with the largest threats listed as poaching and loss of habitat. They are now under second-class state protection in China. 

For more:

International Vulture Awareness Day: Protect nature's clean-up crew

International Orangutan Day: Protect our close relatives

What you don't know about painted wolves

International Whale Shark Day: Protect the gentle giants in the sea

(All images via CFP, designed by CGTN's Liu Shaozhen)

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