I've tried on a number of occasions to photograph one of the captive Red Pandas at Banham Zoo in Norfolk, but on every occasion this shy and solitary creature has alluded me. This one, however, was feeling positively social, happy to munch on fruit atop a log frame. The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is native to the eastern Himalayas and south-western China. It is the only species of the genus Ailurus. It feeds mainly on bamboo, but is omnivorous and may also eat eggs, birds, insects, and small mammals. The Red Panda has been classified as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) because its population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals. The usual suspects line up as the reasons behind its continuing decline – habitat loss and fragmentation and poaching.
Canon 1Ds MkII, 1/160 sec, f/9, 318mm at ISO 640