Red Panda adoption?
September 11, 2006 9:36 PM   Subscribe

What is the feasibility of having a red panda as a pet? How much does it cost?
posted by PowerCat to Pets & Animals (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Depending on where you live, having a wild animal as a pet may be illegal. It certainly isn't ever anything I would advise, both for legal reasons and for the health of the animal. Your average vet won't know what to do with it, which isn't going to be very helpful if it needs medical care.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:42 PM on September 11, 2006

How many hectares of bamboo do you farm?
posted by paulsc at 9:49 PM on September 11, 2006 [2 favorites]

A pet? One doesn't generally (legally) keep an animal like that as a pet. If you want to build it a special (probably large) enclosure and get it fancy doctorin', and if you want to get special permission from your local government, you could keep it as a... ward. "Guest" maybe. Not really a pet.

Also, it's nocturnal and eats lots of bamboo. Not my idea of a good pet. Try a cat. You'll like it.
posted by samw at 9:50 PM on September 11, 2006

Go to your local wildlife center and register to foster (rehabilitate) baby racoons. They're just as wild, just as cute, and subsist on pretty much anything. They purr when you feed and pet them. They're also distantly related to red pandas.

Wildlife centers take in baby racoons all the time but always run out of people who want to take care of them until they're old enough for release, so you'd be doing a good deed as well.

You CAN legally keep a raccoon as a pet in Ontario if you get a license and give it both dog and cat shots. Bonus if you live on a farm. I don't know about Quebec though.
posted by Sallysings at 8:30 AM on September 12, 2006

The red panda is an endangered species, which means it is generally illegal to sell or buy them.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:46 AM on September 12, 2006 [1 favorite]

The feasibility is nil, it's illegal. If it were not illegal it would be impractical because of all the bamboo they eat.
posted by jessamyn at 9:03 AM on September 12, 2006

For more on the "Raccoon as Pet" tip, peep this fine publication:
Rascal by Sterling North
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:13 AM on September 12, 2006

So what is a raccoon like, as a pet? It sounds more promising than a ferret.
posted by Chuckles at 9:59 AM on September 12, 2006

I had a raccoon as a pet when I was a kid. Rasputin. It never bit me or my sisters but damn did it love to eat. Tore frogs apart right in front of us. Nasty.

I had lots of non-domesticated animals as pets (turtles, snakes, lizards, chimpmunk, mice, frogs, birds of all kinds, etc etc.). However, though I remember each of the animals, what I remember most about them is how unpetlike they were. My fondest memories of animals as a kid are all of dogs. They're the only animal I had that seemed to reciprocate (or at least appreciate) the affection I had for them.

As an adult animal lover, I say don't have a raccoon as a pet, unless you are rehabilitating one, as Sallysings sung.

Wild animals just don't make good pets, in general. Why? Because they don't need you. In fact, you're presence works against them. Get a pet that does need you. A dog, for instance. Dogs are great pets (though I prefer to think of mine as a companion, not a pet).
posted by dobbs at 10:50 AM on September 12, 2006

Chuckles/ rehabbing is much better than keeping the racoon. Honestly, as soon as it's able to find its own food, it no longer needs you. When you foster one you get the best of the time you can get with it - a racoon that's received all its shots, is cute and fuzzy, lets you pet it, and then when it's big enough to destroy the place, you get to give it back...
posted by Sallysings at 11:35 AM on September 12, 2006

Thanks for the replies!

a racoon that's received all its shots, is cute and fuzzy, lets you pet it, and then when it's big enough to destroy the place, you get to give it back...

I used to enjoy working rides at Centreville for this reason. Kids are great fun to play with when they are in a good mood, as soon as they start to scream you hand them back to the parents :)
posted by Chuckles at 11:55 AM on September 12, 2006 [1 favorite]

What everyone else has said, plus the fact that most facilities that keep red pandas (such as the Central Park Zoo) do so as part of a captive breeding species diversification programme to ensure their survival.
posted by holgate at 1:21 PM on September 12, 2006

Anyone who think pet racoons are cute, has never spent a night at the Lure Lodge in Kentucky, where several hundred semi-tame racoons gather at dusk each evening at the Lodge to be fed by guests and staff. Very cute and fun, unless you have to go to your room in an outlying building later. In that case, prepare to be chased, as fast as you can run by hundreds of 50 to 70 pound animals who expect you to throw food, and know you probably keep good things to eat in your pocket...

Memorable? Yes. Fun? No.
posted by paulsc at 7:41 PM on September 12, 2006

Feasibility? Zero to none. The red panda is simply not an animal that is suitable for "pet" purposes.
posted by Savannah at 9:02 PM on September 12, 2006

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