In evolution, the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) plays a pivotal role in the higher level phylogeny of arctoides carnivore mammals. The red panda inhabits certain Asian countries only and its numbers are decreasing. Therefore, the development of feasible ways to preserve this species is necessary. Genetic resource cryopreservation and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) have been used extensively to rescue this endangered species. The present study describes the establishment, for the first time, of a red panda ear fibroblast cell line, which was then cryopreserved, thawed and cultured. Through micromanipulation, interspecies embryos were reconstructed using the cryopreserved–thawed fibroblasts of the red panda as the donor and rabbit oocytes as recipients. A total of 194 enucleated rabbit oocytes were reconstructed with red panda ear fibroblasts; enucleated oocytes were activated without fusion as the control. The results show that the fibroblast cell line was established successfully by tissue culture and then cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. Supplementation with 20% fetal bovine serum and 8% dimethyl sulphoxide in basic medium facilitated the cryopreservation. The interspecies embryos were successfully reconstructed. The cleavage, morulae and blastocyst rates after in vitro culture were 71, 47 and 23% (31/194), respectively. This study indicated that a somatic cell line could be established and cryopreserved from red panda and that rabbit cytoplast supports mitotic cleavage of the red panda karyoplasts and is capable of reprogramming the nucleus to achieve blastocysts.