Transcript for Curse of the Red Panda
Well, is it possible to be too cute for your own good? If you happen to be red panda. The answer is definitely. Call it the curse of the red panda, on the edge of extinction. Before leaving on vacation, our dan harris left us with his amazing story in search of the red panda. Reporter: When the children press their noses up to the glass, captivated by these adorable, exotic, little red panda cubs. They're staring into the face of a mystery. Why is this animal, which once roamed vast regions of the earth, now on the brink of extinction and could the answer save these creatures before they're gopher forever? Our search for clues took us to the other side of to world. To the small sliver of the planet where red pandas can still be found in the wild. These are the foothills of the himalayan mountains. This city is best known for growing some of the world's finest teas. Even though this is the red panda's natural has been tate, the zoo is still the best place to see it. This zoo is one of the most successful red panda breeding centers in the world. They have teamed up a male and female hoping they'll make a love connection. And maybe some days those offsprings can be returned to the wild. But even if this particular matchmaking attempt is successful, zookeepers are very worried about what they call the red panda curse. They look right at you. Yes. Because of this cute-looking face and loving nature, hundreds of animals have been taken overseas. So they're cursed by their good look and yes, yes. Reporter: As far as we know, the only place that red panda live in the wild is here. For reasons that scientists don't fully understand yet, everyday of the red panda has surfaced in a very surprising place. Here in the foothills of another mountain range, the blue ridge mountains of tennessee. Needless to say I wasn't expecting a red panda. Reporter: Steven wallace and his team here at the grey fossil sight, have unearthed fossils b nothing prepared for them a single tooth was that was dug up a few years ago. The red panda. Reporter: The shape and size of the too that links this red panda with the ones living today a world away. They were much more widespread at one time. Reporter: He says that the tennessee red panda was probably much larger, probably the size of a mountain lion, in fact. So, why did they disappear? One theory, raccoons moved in and started competing for the same food. They're pretty curious. Yes. Reporter: The luck of the red panda is running out fast. Conservationists believe there's less than 5,000 left in the wild. Which makes the matchmaking here even more critical as this adorable creature haunted by its good looks fights survival. 12k3w4r they are cute. Dan harris gets the greatest assignments. Yeah. He really does. Cute, cute and more cute. Coming up ahead on "good
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