The Socratic Resplendence of the Red Panda

A Red Panda, inexpicably turning to a life of piracy


If every species of the family Ailuridae were laid end-to-end, it would be just a single red panda, wondering why it was being laid end-to-end. Every other member of this family of non-descript and unassertive tree mammals is extinct and good riddance.

The red panda, a. ailurus, is a forest dweller. This doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be just as happy somewhere else. It is more a testament to the laziness of the creature. It ranges from Nepal, Bhutan and India to the mountain forests of China, where many of them were moved to agricultural communes for reeducation. Rumor has it that they’ve been spotted in Burma, but no one can produce a photograph of a Burmese red panda with spots…

They prefer living one to three miles above sea level. Any higher than that and they run the risk of being hit by satellites. Any lower and they run the risk of actually having to work for a living.

Indira Gandhi owned a red panda as a pet. The animal was supposed to argue in her defense in the challenge to her election to parliament in 1971; but, he couldn’t attend because he was eating a grasshopper.

The red panda goes by many names… none of them particularly imaginative. It is called the “lesser panda” after its tendency to rent rather than own its domicile. It is called the “red bear-cat” and, in a shocking deviation, the “red cat-bear”. Calling it a “lesser panda” is pretty ironic, because it isn’t a panda at all! So, it is probably the least panda anything can aspire to without being an anaconda. The giant panda is a basal ursid, something a red panda can only dream of being.

At two-feet in length and weighing no more than fourteen pounds, the red panda strikes fear into the hearts of literally no one. It is red on top and black on the bottom, which made it Stendhal’s favorite mammal. It’s face has a tear marking on it, indicating that it has, in fact, killed someone while in prison. All in all, when you see it, you think to yourself that someone has lost a rather flamboyant raccoon.

A nickname for a. ailurus is “Firefox” making it one of two animals who’ve had web browsers named after them… the other being the Internet Explorer Elk.

A. ailurus is a crepuscular animal which means it most active at dusk. This helps it avoid daylight predators and people driving home drunk at two in the morning. They sleep in the hollows of trees, often biting cookie-baking elves in the process. The red panda lives between 63 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Above 77 degrees, the red panda reaches critical mass and the resulting explosion is more tragic than it is destructive…

Red pandas eat bamboo, eggs, fruit, smaller mammals and birds. Zoologists are unsure as to whether this includes Peeps, but they are going to test that theory next Easter. They bring their food to their mouths with their forepaws like a raccoon. They mark their territory with urine and anal secretions which definitely gets their point across as far as I’m concerned.

Rusty, a red panda residing in a Washington’s National Zoo, escaped captivity in 2013. Fortunately, he was captured in the Adam’s Morgan section of DC before the area he was hiding in could be gentrified and condos built on top of him…

At eighteen months, a. ailurus reaches sexual maturity, which is an oxymoron in my opinion. Mating is the only time the two genders of red panda interact. This makes them more like Presbyterians than any other animal. A red panda female may mate with multiple males. The less said about that, the better.

There are two subspecies of red panda: The Western Red Panda and Styan’s Red Panda. Styan’s red panda is a little larger; but, the Western red panda is tougher and better with a six-gun.

Image result for red panda
I tried to find a photo on a red panda that wasn’t cute.  There were none.