I’m totally in love with the unbelievably, heart-meltingly adorable red pandas!
The Yangtze River zone at the new River Safari, Singapore’s upcoming attraction scheduled to open first quarter of 2013, will house two of these sweeties! From now till the official opening, ticket holders of the Singapore Zoo are able to get a preview of them (as well as the recently-arrived giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia) in their climate-controlled enclosures by purchasing an add-on ticket at $5. The catch is – each ticket is limited to one viewing of only 15 minutes and the time slot is allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this limit will be removed when River Safari fully opens!
Red pandas are distantly related to the giant pandas and share some characteristics with their better-known counterparts: both live in high-altitude forest habitats, feed predominantly on bamboo, have ‘false thumbs’ (which are actually elongated wrist bones useful for gripping small things) and lead solitary lives.
Unlike the giant pandas, red pandas supplement their diet with other food such as fruits, acorns, roots and eggs.
On a more somber note, it breaks my heart to learn that these lovely animals are endangered as a result of human activities, namely deforestation, which lead to the loss of their natural habitat and food source. There are only around 10,000 of them in the entire world and this number is continuing to decrease!
There are various initiatives worldwide, including those by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), aiming to protect red pandas. Let’s try our best to protect these cute creatures (as well as all other animals) and play a part in the conservation of wildlife!
Giant Panda Forest
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm