May 24, 2005Futa, a two-year-old lesser panda is bringing
Japanese zoogoers to their feet with his rare ability to stand, human
style, for about ten seconds at a time. "We have kept lesser pandas
for nearly 20 years at this zoo, but I have not seen one like Futa,
which can stand for such a long time," Chiba Zoological Park official
Hiroyuki Asano told the AFP news agency.
A member of the raccoon family, the lesser, or red, panda was once thought to be related to the familiar black-and-white giant panda. Living up to their name, lesser pandas are about as small as large housecats and keep a low profile, foraging mainly by night.
Feeding mostly on bamboo, fruits, and insects, the pandas are native to mountains in China and the Himalayawhere they are better known for skittering up trees than standing at attention.
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