The Original MMA Champion: Red Pandas!
Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens) or otherwise known as ‘lesser’ pandas, are not easy pushovers as their name suggests. Red pandas were discovered back in 1821, much earlier than their highly popular distant relatives – the giant pandas whom were discovered in 1869. Do not let their small size of 56-62 cm, or a little larger than a domestic cat deceive you. Once the start bell rings, the natural prowess of these fighters starts to shine. Red pandas start by getting up on their hind paws with raised front paws – a classic boxing stance, and launch the ‘paw swat’ attack!
Then, our little furry mixed martial arts champions transition smoothly into wrestling. They grasp hard at the opponent’s fur, biting where possible, and swiping the competitor’s fur. Don’t worry! They are not out for blood, its just all in a day’s worth of play!
Paw Swat Attack
With such skills and innate raw talent for fighting, it is no wonder that Dreamworks chose red pandas to portray the Master Shifu in Kung Fu Panda. Won’t you be their fan too?
Red pandas are native to the Himalayan region such as Nepal, Myanmar and China. They are currently classified as vulnerable, having fallen victim to poaching and habitat loss. These solitary creatures roam the bamboo-enriched forests consuming up to 45% of their body weight daily! The clearing of forests has fragmented their home and some of them isolated from the gene pool. Humans also pose a second threat as they are hunted for there rusty-red fur to be made into accessories, while their tails are thought to symbolize good luck for newly weds. Let’s do our part to ensure our furry friends are here to stay!
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