Other names include Bear Cat, Cloud Bear, Bright Panda, Common Panda, Fire Cat, Firefox, Red Fox, Fox Bear, Himalayan Raccoon, Lesser Panda, Nigalya Ponya, Panda Chico, Panda Éclatant, Panda Rojo, Petit Panda, Poonya, Crimson Ngo, Red Cat, Sankam, Small Panda, Thokya, Wah, Wokdonka, Vetri, and Ye. Just to name a few.
The word panda is derived from Nepalese word “ponya” which means bamboo and plant eating animals in Nepal. The red Panda is more closely related to the Mephitidae (skunks), Procyonidae (raccoons), and Mustelidae (weasel, mink, wolverine, badger); but it is not a bear (Ursidae) as is the Giant Panda.
The Red Panda is classified as an endangered species. There is an estimated population of less than 2,500 mature individuals and this number continues to decline due to severely fragmented populations.