Why Red Pandas Are Popular – 12 Mindblowing Reasons!

It’s not surprising, that red pandas can catch your attention once you see them! In this article, I’ll be discussing 12 interesting reasons why red pandas are very popular. 

Let’s get started below.

Table of Contents

1. Red Pandas are Cute and Lovely Creatures

One of the reasons why red pandas are popular is because of their cute and attractive looks. 

They are known for their beautiful reddish-brown coat and white facial markings. They also have a short snout that makes them look like stuffed animals. 

People love taking pictures of these animals! This is because red pandas have a unique look that makes them perfect subjects for photos. 

There are even some companies that offer special packages for those who want to snap a few pics with these cuddly creatures!

Their fur color is one of the most unique combinations among animals. Interestingly, their fur helps them blend with the trees in their habitat.

2. They Feed on Bamboo or Nothing

A Red Panda Eating Bamboo

The red panda’s unique bamboo diet is one of the reasons they are popular. They love bamboo just like giant pandas, despite not being related to them. 

Bamboo makes up 95% of the red panda’s diet and they eat more than 200 species of it. Red pandas are one of the few carnivorous animals that have lost their taste for meat. 

They choose to eat bamboo despite not being herbivores by nature. Their digestive system has special characteristics that allow them to break down this fibrous plant.

3. These Cuties are Rare and Endangered

Aside from diet and appearance, red pandas are also popular for being rare. 

They are one of the most endangered species in the world. And they require protection and conservation efforts to ensure their long-term survival. 

Raising awareness of the dangers they face and their habitat loss encourages people to support conservation programs. 

The more people learn about these special animals, the more they’ll want them to stay around for future generations.

4. They are Symbols of Goodluck and Prosperity

Red pandas are popular as symbols of good luck and prosperity in their native habitats. This includes the Eastern Himalayas and the Southwestern China. 

Their bright red fur has led to them being associated with fire and the sun.

In Chinese folklore, this animal is known as “firefox” and is thought to have the capacity to manipulate fire. 

The red pandas’ fur is also seen as a representation of energy. They are usually associated with the sun and its ability to bring life. 

In addition, red pandas have been kept as pets by monks in the past. These monks considered them as sacred animals and they were highly respected. 

This is because some Buddhist monasteries see them as the reincarnated form of dead monks. 

Although red pandas are now protected by conservation laws, they are an important part of some people’s culture.

5. Red pandas are Playful and Funny

Red pandas’ funny and playful behavior makes them quite famous. It’s usually entertaining to watch them stand on their hind legs and do their toddling walk. 

They also tumble and chase each other. These lovely behaviors are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face while watching them.

6. They are Acrobats

Red pandas are skillful and acrobatic animals that aren’t afraid of heights.

They love being up high on something rather than on the ground. It takes only a few seconds for them to disappear into tree canopies from the ground.

These animals are fun to watch playing around trees. Red pandas make walking on slim branches look easy. They’re like tightrope walkers with no fear! 

Interestingly, they are seen as better climbers than leopards. Moreover, their ankles can rotate 180 degrees, allowing them to climb down from the trees head-first. 

Climbing down a tree headfirst is a rare skill. And many tree-climbing animals can’t do it.

7. Red Pandas Can Learn Tricks

Red pandas are also known for their impressive tricks. They include: 

  • Shaking hands
  • Giving high fives
  • Rolling over
  • Bringing things
  • Playing dead 

It’s no surprise why they are so popular – their tricks are a joy to watch!

8. They Are Great Escape Artists

Red pandas are remarkably agile and quick-moving creatures. They can climb trees and jump from one branch to another with ease. 

These cuddly animals are also very observant, always looking for new ways to explore their environment. A combination of these skills makes them very good at escaping captivity. 

As in the case of Rusty, who gained popularity in 2013 after escaping from the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. 

9. They are Unique Mammalian Species

Red Pandas are unique species that are different from other animals. They have no living relatives, and they are the only species in the family Ailuridae.

Their uniqueness has made them a subject of research. Scientists are eager to learn more about their behavior, ecology, and conservation requirements.

Red pandas were originally called pandas (Bamboo eaters) in the 17th century. 

This was before giant pandas were even known as pandas.  In other words, red pandas were the original pandas! 

On September 16th, the world celebrates Red Panda Day to create awareness for the conservation efforts to protect them.

All these put together help to promote red pandas’ popularity.

10. They are Loners, and That’s Okay!

Red pandas are solitary animals and prefer to live alone. They are not very social and do not enjoy being around other red pandas for long periods.

Many mammals survive better in groups, right? But red pandas do well surviving alone. 

What’s more, they live this way despite being an endangered species. That’s risky, right? But not for creatures like red pandas. They are great survivors!

11. Red Pandas are Ambassadors of Their Region

Red Pandas are ambassadors of the Himalayan region, representing their unique biodiversity. Being ambassadors of their region makes them popular.

They play a significant role in raising awareness about the importance of protecting the environment. Additionally, they are a symbol of hope for the future of the Eastern Himalayas.

They remind us that even in the face of threats such as habitat loss, there are still beautiful and unique creatures that call these regions home.

12. Red Pandas can Have Close Interactions with People

Fluffy Red Panda Having a Good Time with a Lady at Paradise Park

Red Pandas are usually shy and prefer to be alone, but they become quite friendly with people in certain situations, such as in zoos or wildlife sanctuaries. 

In captivity, they can become used to people being around them and may even come up to them if they feel safe. 

That’s some experience you can get in a red panda encounter. You can pet and feed them too!

Additionally, red pandas interact with their keepers and respond to reward-based training. This helps in their management and care.

Are Red Pandas More Famous Than Giant Pandas?

No, giant pandas are more famous than red pandas. This is because giant pandas are more visible in popular culture. 

They are very famous around the world in every zoo they arrive at. They’re considered cuter, more playful, and naturally funnier than red pandas. 

Crowds gather to get a view of giant pandas. They are so cute. And their babies will melt your hearts.

Do you know that most zoos wish to have pandas because of the revenue they can generate? They’re so famous that they effortlessly pull crowds to any place they arrive for the first time.

In addition to that, giant pandas are bigger and more distinctive than red pandas. They have been featured in films, TV series, and commercials. 

On the other hand, red pandas have not been as widely featured in popular culture. Nevertheless, they’ve made a few appearances in some movies and TV shows.

Who is the Most Famous Red Panda?

Rusty is the most famous red panda. He made headlines in 2013 when he ran away from the Smithsonian National Zoo, Washington D.C. 

Eventually, he was found a few hours later in Adams Morgan’s yard. Rusty’s escape and capture were reported by the media, and he became a topic on social media for a long time. 

People kept track of his activities, and six years later (2019), he was relocated to the Pueblo Zoo in Colorado. There, he sadly died at the age of 10 in 2022.


In summary, red pandas have become so popular. And it is because of these interesting reasons:

  • Red pandas are beautiful creatures that always attract people’s attention
  • They feed on bamboo as their main source of food even though they are not herbivores
  • Red pandas are rare and endangered species that need conservation effort 
  • They are seen as symbols of good luck and prosperity as they are associated with fire and the sun’s ability to bring life.
  • Red pandas are playful and funny as they are entertaining to watch running around and pursuing each other.
  • They are skillful and acrobatic animals that aren’t afraid of heights.
  • They can learn tricks like giving high fives, rolling over, bringing things, etc.
  • They are great escape artists with their agile and quick-moving body
  • Red pandas are ambassadors of the regions where they live.

You can now tell why red pandas are so popular but do you know who discovered them?

Check out our article “Who Discovered Red Pandas?” to learn more.