Because of its scarcity, an intensive international breeding program was established for the red panda in more than 30 zoos.
Because of its scarcity and unknown habits in the wild, an intensive international breeding program was established for the red panda in more than 30 zoos, and an International Studbook, edited by A. R. Glatston in 1982, documents management techniques, growth in captive populations, and pathology reports.
Based on International Studbook summaries, numbers of red pandas in captivity increased from 136 in 1980, to 147 in 1981, and to 197 in 1982.
Improved longevity and reproduction are effected by larger enclosures, removal from extreme heat and humidity, and a diet high in fiber and bulk, mainly bamboo and native or cultivated grasses, to prevent gastrointestinal disorders. In captivity, animals are maintained most successfully in outdoor enclosures with a natural, grassy substrate, living trees for climbing and perching, and sufficient shade to allow the animals to retreat from the heat of the summer. The ideal social grouping is a mated pair and their dependent offspring, although a male and two females can be maintained together during the breeding season.