It’s adoption time!
Last year Mars Hill Retirement adopted the red wolves from the WNC Nature Center. This year we have chosen the red pandas as our adoptees.
Red pandas are bamboo eaters native to Asia’s forest. These animals spend most of their lives in trees and even sleep aloft. The red panda is an endangered species with less than 10,000 (possibly as few as 2,500) of them in the wild. Their natural space is shrinking as more and more forests are destroyed by logging and the spread of agriculture.
The red panda’s ancient cousin once lived in the Western North Carolina region. Bristol’s Panda (Pristinailurus bristoli) is an ancient North American relative of the living red panda whose fossils have been discovered at the Gray Fossil Site in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee. Western North Carolina’s climate and ecosystem is almost identical to the lower mountain forests of Central Asia where red pandas currently live.
We are looking forward to our visit in the spring with the live animals again. Be on the lookout for the date and time.