Today’s installment of Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Rachel, who is dreaming of a white Christmas. (Please read the previous sentence as though it were sung by Bing Crosby.)
Hey readers, I don’t know if you’ve realized this, but tomorrow is Christmas.
“But Rachel,” you’re probably saying, “yesterday it was May!”
I know that better than anyone. But it’s true. Tomorrow is, in fact, Christmas. I was going to just compile a bunch of pictures of animals wearing Santa hats. But then I happened to watch a video of a red panda playing in the snow, so we’re going to do that instead.
Red pandas are actually not very closely related to regular, old giant pandas. They have previously been classified as part of the bear and raccoon families, but they are actually the only living species in the Ailuridae family, and are part of the same super family (Musteloidea) as weasels.
Also they’re REALLY cute.
They’re only found in the wild in the temperate forests of the Himalayas in western Nepal and eastern China.
Since they live in such a small area of the world and they are classified as endangered, it’s difficult to see red pandas in the wild, but as of 2006, there were more than 800 individual red pandas found in zoos around the world.
It’s not exactly known how many red pandas can be found in the wild, so a major goal in keeping red pandas in captivity is to build a genetically varied population in case the wild population goes extinct. The red panda is quite adaptable to living in captivity and they are found in zoos worldwide. Even NYC’s very own Central Park Zoo has a few!
Because it is (somehow) Christmas tomorrow, I’ll leave this off on a wintery note of red pandas playing in the snow:
I definitely did not watch this three times in a row just now.
We hope you have the merriest of Christmases!