Have you ever looked at red pandas and thought how does this creature survive in the wild?
Here’s a short answer –
Red pandas are smart and intelligent creatures. In fact, they can do many things with proper training and can memorize certain things.
In this article, we will look at 9 proof that shows red pandas are smart creatures.
1. Perfect Camouflage
Red pandas are the masters of camouflage. They have a reddish coat and white fur on their face and black fur on their belly.
They are smart enough to use their camouflage ability to hide from their enemies.
Whenever they see a predator, the pandas lie down like dead bodies. Since the soil of this region is reddish, it gives them a perfect canvas to blend in.
The fir trees, the main tree of the region also has red branches because of a certain moss. Red pandas climb the tree and lie down holding the branches to fool their enemies.
The red and white markings of their faces match the reddish-brown moss and white lichen.
Moreover, the bamboo forest is also very dense for the red pandas to hide in it.
2. They Mark their Territory
Territory marking is one of the survival skills of the red pandas.
It is also a way of communicating with other red pandas. For example, red pandas use scent markings to warn other red pandas.
Red pandas use anal glands and urine to mark their territory. The scent glands on the bottom of the feet of this animal can release a colorless liquid.
Red pandas use their tongue to collect the scattered liquid and bring it inside their mouth. Their tongue has a cone-like structure and it is easier to scoop up liquid with it.
The gland inside their mouth then reads the signal and the animal acts accordingly. Red pandas are the only carnivore with this feature and it makes them quite unique and smart.
3. They Can be Trained
As crazy as it sounds, red pandas in captivity can be trained. Red pandas are intelligent creatures who can activate new skills with proper training and encouragement.
Red pandas can be trained to do simple activities. In some of the zoos and research centers, red pandas are trained to be on their best behavior when veterinarian visits.
They are given a reward after every successful training and completion of the task. The pandas are trained of their own will and are encouraged to build relationships with their trainers.
Red pandas are sometimes taught to ask for a treat or a toy and do some tricks. In a zoo, they can be trained to do tricks to entertain the visitors.
Some of the zoos provide visitors with interacting experiences with pandas. The pandas are trained for this special interaction where they ask for treats.
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4. Red Panda Sounds
Red pandas make a lot of different types of noises to mean different things. They have distinctive sounds for communicating.
For example, an excited red panda can make a “Huff Quack” sound, bark when threatened, or hiss while challenged.
Researchers are always surprised when they find red pandas communicating with others with different sounds.
The pandas use a grunting noise when they are either threatened or scared. To warn other pandas, they use the ‘hoot’ sound.
Squealing is used to express hunger in the case of babies and to express hurt in the case of adults.
5. Skilled Climbers
Red pandas are skilled climbers. They often choose to climb up a tree or a rock to avoid danger.
Red pandas are smart enough to identify the enemies they can fight with. And they hide from the enemies they think they cannot fight.
They have pseudo-thumbs like giant pandas and use them to climb like experts. They use trees as shade in the daytime, as a shelter to take naps and to escape from predators.
Red panda bodies have adapted to give them flexible ankles. The fibula is also rotatable and flexible giving the red pandas the ability to climb down from any surface headfirst.
The pandas spend most of the daytime on top of a tree as they are nocturnal creatures. Being on top of a tree can also be useful to notice any coming danger.
In a way, their laziness lying on a tree branch is also a way to look for their predators or any other kinds of danger.
6. Sleep To Save Energy
Red pandas are known to be very lazy animals. But, do not misunderstand this statement. They try not to move so they can conserve energy.
Red pandas primarily survive on bamboo. However, bamboo does not give them enough nutrients. Imagine you’re eating all day but not gaining any nutrients from your food.
This is the case with red pandas. Even though they spend most of their day eating, they cannot gain the nutritional value needed for them to function. Hence, they sleep or lay inactive most of the day.
So, it is safe to say that these cute animals are not lazy but are using their energy wisely. They do not waste their energy and use it to focus on more important things.
They like to play but at the same time, red pandas love sunbathing the most
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7. Stand Up When Threatened
Red pandas stand up when threatened. When red pandas cannot get away from their predator or any danger, they tend to stand up.
Red pandas are very fluffy creatures with long to medium-sized colorful fur. They are a little bigger than household cats.
They stand up on their hind legs before their enemy to pretend that they are bigger. When animals are threatened and cannot escape, they want their enemy to have a false impression of their size.
Red pandas do this to scare away their enemy. If the standing position is not enough, the red panda uses its sharp claws to defend itself.
Another defensive skill they have is to release a foul-smelling liquid from their scent glands to scare the enemy. The smell is used to drive the enemy away as well as to warn others about the danger.
8. Recognizing Their Caretakers
The pandas in captivity can recognize their caretakers through voice and face. They can recognize them even if they are introduced after a long time.
People who take care of them including doctors or researchers can be recognized by the pandas. They memorize most of their voices and faces and will be excited to see them.
Red pandas are amazingly smart to be able to recognize voices and can remember their own name if they have any. They will respond when called by their names.
The people who take care of the red pandas in captivity are all adored by the red pandas. The pandas will get excited and thrilled to see them or hear their voices.
The pandas make cute noises and chirping sounds to show that they are happy upon seeing their favorite people.
When red pandas are brought in early in their life, baby pandas can make meaningful bonding with the researchers or caregivers. The pandas can make strong bonds with people they like.
9. Hunting Skills
Red pandas are smart enough to hunt. Just like giant pandas, red pandas sometimes eat reptiles, birds and eggs, and other small animals. For this, they need to show their hunting skills.
They also need to be prepared for attacks by their predators. For all these, red pandas start practicing early. The playtime of red pandas can be seen as the time when they prepare themselves for hunting.
Red pandas are playful creatures who are more active when they are babies. Baby red pandas play by showing off their acrobatic skills.
Red pandas are solitary animals who are also very smart.
They are experts in camouflage and use their surroundings very skillfully.
They are also exceptional climbers and can escape from any danger by climbing onto a tree.
To conserve energy, they keep lying down during the daytime. They can also make sounds to communicate and have a set of sounds for different things.
Territory marking also comes in handy while warning the others and making sure no one trespasses. Red pandas tend to stand up when threatened to pretend to be larger.
But the most fascinating thing is that they can be trained to do tricks. Red pandas are not only smart but they are also the best animals. Want to know why? Read 11 Reasons Why Red Pandas Are the Best to find out!