While the red panda might lack the recognition of its black and white counterpart, it was actually scientifically described nearly 50 years earlier and is no less extraordinary. Unlike ground-dwelling giant pandas, red pandas spend most of their time in trees. Semi-retractable claws as sharp as fish hooks allow them to cling to branches. Their flexible ankles also rotate so they can descend trees face-first instead of needing to back their way to the ground. And while giant pandas are classified as bears, red pandas are the only living member of their own taxonomic family – Ailuridae.
A Social Species
Did you know that Central Park Zoo is the only zoo in New York City where you’ll find snow monkeys? Much like humans, these primates use a wide range of facial expressions and vocalizations to communicate with each other. You can watch their complex interactions from the edge of their heated pool.
In the Exhibit
Agile climbers, red pandas use their long, bushy tails for balance. Like giant pandas, red pandas mainly eat bamboo, occasionally snacking on nuts, fruits, and other assorted items.
Central Park Zoo’s snow monkey troop is composed of both males and females. This unique species is native to Japan. No other nonhuman primate is more northern-living, or lives in a colder climate.
Get More Out of Your Zoo Visit
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