Who would have thought that an impromptu visit to Canberra’s National Zoo today would coincide with International Red Panda Day and successful photography attempts.
Despite good intentions and good technology, coming home with any decent shots from the zoo depends more on baby-juggling ability and the mood, behaviour and speed (often running away) of the toddler in tow (the purported reason for zoo visits) than it does on the cooperation of the animals, but today those little red pandas were in fine modelling form (and the chil’uns were quite restrained). Perhaps they knew it was Panda Day?
Is there any face in the animal kingdom cuter than this gorgeous little one?
But despite their outrageously adorable faces, these little critters are officially classified as endangered with only 10,000 of them left in their natural habitat, roaming in the Himalayas in Nepal and southern China. And sadly that number is declining due to loss of habitat and poaching.
If you are travelling in Asia, or elsewhere, and someone offers you a fine, furry hat made from red panda tail – desist! How horrible. Not a good look, by any count – unless the fluff is on a living red panda. And I don’t care how traditional it may be.
You can find our more here: http://redpandanetwork.org, or just gaze adoringly into this little fella’s eyes.
This spontaneous zoo visit also fortuitously ticks off a ‘tourist at home’ box , so my recently and publicly stated ‘quest’ is alive and thriving, but more on this terrific little (not so little and growing) zoo will have to wait for another post for another day.
Happy Red Panda Day!