Purple Panda photographed for first time at Arunchal’s Chug Valley

Shubhadeep Choudhury
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, October 2

Wildlife activists are thrilled about the fresh spotting of a red panda in the forests of Arunachal Pradesh. What is more, the furry creature has been photographed too. This happens to be the first time a red panda has been photographed in this particular area of the border state.

“Photographs of the Red Panda in the wild are very rare because they live in high altitude regions which are not easily accessible to humans. The photographs will conclusively prove their existence in the area,” Roopak Gowsami, a Guwahati-based journalist who specialises in wildlife and environment related matters, told The Tribune.

“The elusive Red Panda has been spotted and photo captured for the first time in the forests of Chug Valley of Arunachal Pradesh,” Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday proudly retweeted a tweet originating from the state government headed by him .

“The community of Chug valley has declared the area community conserved area to secure and preserve the pristine habitat of wildlife & ecosystem,” added the tweet by @MyGovArunachal.

Two pictures of the member of the mammal species native to eastern Himalayas and southwestern China shows the animal sitting on a moss-laden tree deep inside the jungle and gorging on the barks of a thin branch.

According to Goswami, local communities in Arunachal Pradesh have voluntarily declared nine community conserved areas over 15 years which cover roughly 1500 sq km of forests.

“These cover significant habitats which are home to the red panda, Himalayan goral, serow, takin, small cats and contains high altitude lakes. WWF-India had introduced the concept of community conserved area in 2004,” he said.

A WWF official said that last time a Red Panda was visually captured in Arunachal Pradesh was back in 2012.

“Degin Dorjee, Community Mobiliser, WWF-India, photographed and shot video footage of the animal at Zemithang valley. Due to their extremely shy nature, it is extremely difficult to sight a red panda in the wild and therefore this sighting and the resultant documentation was a significant occasion,” the official said.

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