Red pandas are undeniably one of the world’s cutest animals. With bright red fur, striking facial features and a big fluffy tail, these animals have quickly become popular throughout the internet and in the hearts of our guests. However, these traits serve a larger purpose than to pull at our heartstrings! Red pandas are native to Southeast Asia, particularly in the temperate forests near the Himalayan Mountains. In these areas, temperatures remain cool and that large fluffy tail is used almost like a blanket to keep these small animals warm. In addition to providing warmth, that beautiful thick red fur helps these animals camouflage themselves within the red lichens that grow in their natural habitat.
Believe it or not, the red panda is the original panda. Red pandas were discovered around 50 years before the black and white giant pandas that we typically think of. These animals have caused quite a headache for scientists over the years as they’ve tried to figure out the relationship between red pandas and giant pandas.
Currently, red pandas are classified in their own unique family called Ailuridae. However different these animals may seem, they do share some commonality. For one, both the red panda and the giant panda love to eat bamboo! These animals are also both greatly affected by habitat loss. Here at the Greensboro Science Center we support the Red Panda Network, an organization dedicated to preserving these animals. You can also help red pandas by donating to the Red Panda Network here (https://www.redpandanetwork.org) and by continuing to visit the Greensboro Science Center and other AZA accredited zoos and aquariums!
Remember to join us during the month of September on Tuesdays and Thurdsays at 10:30am and 2:30pm at our red panda habitat to participate in our Conservation Creation activity as well as on September 14thfor Red Panda Day!
While red pandas live thousands of miles away from us, there are things we can do for animals effected by habitat loss right here in North Carolina! Some of these animals include our local pollinators such as bees and butterflies. As we move in to the cooler months of fall, we can begin planting flowers and other plants to help out these animals. To get started, we have a cool DIY activity for you to do at home that will be fun for you and beneficial to our local pollinators: Seed Bombs!
DIY Seed Bombs
What you will need: Air-dry clay, potting soil or compost, water, seeds, a large mixing bowl, a measuring cup of any size
To choose seeds that will be the most beneficial to your area, visit this website: https://www.ourstate.com/tips-bee-friendly-garden-north-carolina/
Seed bomb ingredients
Step 1: Take 1 part clay, 1 part water, and 2 parts potting soil or compost and combine them in your mixing bowl.
Combine 1 part clay, 1 part water, and 2 parts potting soil or compost
Step 2: Use your hands (or a large spoon) to mix the ingredients together, adding water as necessary. Your final mixture should be similar to Play-Doh in consistency.
Mix ingredients, adding water as necessary, until the mixture has a Play-Doh-like consistency
Step 3: Add your seeds of choice to the mixture and mix thoroughly.
Step 4: Form the mixture into balls or another fun shape of your choosing.
Form the mixture into balls
Step 5: Allow 2-3 days for your seed bombs to dry and then toss them wherever you would like your seed bombs to grow! Seed bombs don’t require care or attention so they can be placed wherever you would like to see your flowers. Visit them often in the Fall and Spring to see if you have any insect visitors!
Completed seed bombs!