It is reddish brown or chestnut in colour, with the edges of its ears almost white, just like its cheeks, snout and patches on its eyes. It also has strips of brown on its face, which look like tears.
It is principally nocturnal and solitary, but forms into pairs during the mating season. The red panda demarcates its territory with the smell of its excretion, urine and its strong, musky secretions.
It has partially retractile claws and is a good climber. It uses trees not only to feed, but also to escape from predators on the ground and to sunbathe in the winter. The female’s nest can be located in a hole in a tree and be covered in leaves, moss and any other soft vegetable matter. The red panda is threatened by the loss and fragmentation of its habitat, by poaching and inbreeding.