Seeing a Firefox IRL

Two images of red panda with a browser window overlay.

Did you know that the red panda is also known as a firefox? Sept. 16 is International Red Panda Day, so we thought it would be a good time to visit a Firefox, ahem red panda, in real life and talk to their caretakers at zoos across the U.S.

Red pandas are the first panda — discovered nearly 50 years before the giant panda. Unfortunately, they are also endangered with as few as 2,500 remaining in the wild. Founded in 2007, Red Panda Network (RPN) responds to threats to the species with community-based programs that empower local people to conserve red pandas and their habitat. You can learn about RPN’s work here

Additionally, across the world, there are several zoos that participate in a breeding program to help grow the red panda population. Now is a great time to visit the red pandas at your nearest zoo.

Before you go, let us tell you more about the red pandas and the people who care for those adorable red cat-bears (another moniker they go by). We reached out to five zoos who participate in the special red panda program, and sent questions to learn from the zookeepers and the red pandas they care for.

Click on the links below to read more about the red pandas and their caretakers:

A zookeeper feeds a red panda perched on a tree.
Potter Park Zoo’s zookeeper Carolyn with Wilson. (Photo credit: Heath Thurman)

Thank you so much to the zookeepers who spent time to share their knowledge with us. We’d love to learn more about other red pandas in the world, so if you happen to be at your local zoo, share your photos with us on Twitter, Instagram or TikTok. We can’t wait to see more firefoxes!

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