It is not a bear, nor closely related to the giant panda, nor a raccoon, nor a lineage of uncertain affinities. Rather it is a basal lineage of musteloid, with a long history of independence from its closest relatives (skunks, raccoons, and otters/weasels/badgers).
Simply so, are pandas related to raccoons?
Giant pandas are in the family Ursidae with the seven other bear species. Raccoons are in the family Procyonidae along with ring-tails and coatis. The bear family and raccoon family are closely related. Red pandas (often called lesser pandas) are now put in the raccoon family.
How many red pandas are left in the world today?
2. Poaching and habitat loss have left only 10,000 wild adult red pandas remaining in the world. Red panda populations are on the decline in the wild.
What are some fun facts about red pandas?
The red panda is territorial; it is solitary except during mating season.