Futa, Japan’s Most Famous Red Panda, Turns 20

Red Panda Futa (in 2005). Photo: nupe/FlickrCC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This week, Futa the Red Panda from Chiba Zoo (Japan) turned 20 years old. The Red Panda became famous for its ability to stand on its hind paws for up to 10 seconds.

Futa is considered a favorite among zoo guests. Thanks to his popularity, he became an advertising mascot in 2005. As one of the few representatives of its species, the Red Panda even has its own Wikipedia entry.

Today, the Red Panda is clearly showing its age, as a report by the public broadcaster NHK shows.

Futa’s life span of 20 years, however, is exceptional. Under human care, Red Pandas live an average of 8.6 years, according to EAZA Best Practice Guidelines.

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Red Pandas in the autumn of life