The hills of Darjeeling are famous for a cute, cuddly and endearing animal-the Red Panda or Cat Bear. A small furry animal, the red Panda is almost as big as a reasonably sized domestic cat. It is chestnut red in colour, with its leg and underparts of a darker, almost blackish hue and has small white patches on the eyebrows and cheeks.Its pointed, cat-like ears and ringed markings on the tail give it a catlike appearance, the flat feet and bear-like paws have given it a bear like gait, and hence the epithet of cat-bear. However,it is neither a cat nor a bear and belongs to a group of animals.

The Red Panda has poor eye sight and the senses of smell and hearing are not highly developed. It is an excellent tree climber and spends its time in the trees. Its diet consists mainly of fresh bamboo leaves, but it sometimes takes eggs, insects, fruits. The Red Panda symbol-ises the life and sparkle of the Darjeeling hills-a trusting, friendly, inoffensive, rare and good looking companion of all human beings.

 
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