Visitors to the Detroit Zoo were recently treated to their first look at a female Red Panda cub. The new cub, born June 22, has been named Tofu and is the offspring of 10-year-old mother, Ta-Shi, and 6-year-old father, Shifu.
“Ta-Shi took her time bringing her adorable baby girl out into public view, but it was worth the wait,” said Scott Carter, Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) chief life sciences officer. “We’re happy to welcome Tofu to the Detroit Zoo and to contribute to the captive population of this threatened species.”
Found in the mountainous regions of Nepal, Myanmar and central China, Red Pandas are classified as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, due to deforestation.
The Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a shy and solitary animal, except when mating. It is about the size of a house cat, with rust-colored fur and an 18-inch white-ringed tail. Red Pandas are skilled and agile climbers, spending most of their time hanging from tree branches or lounging on limbs.
The Detroit Zoological Society conducts fieldwork in Nepal to study and conserve Red Pandas in the wild. Part of this work requires the use of trail cameras triggered by motion and heat to take pictures and remotely monitor populations of Red Pandas and other species.
The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS)– a nonprofit organization that operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo – is recognized as a leader in conservation, animal welfare and sustainability as well as providing sanctuary for animals in need of rescue.
The Detroit Zoo, in Royal Oak, is 125 acres of award-winning naturalistic habitats and home to 2,500 animals representing 270 species. The Belle Isle Nature Zoo sits on a 5-acre site surrounded by undisturbed forested wetlands on Belle Isle State Park in Detroit and provides year-round educational, recreational and environmental conservation opportunities for the community. For hours, prices, directions, visit: www.detroitzoo.org.