Bite-sized red panda Tofu makes debut at Detroit Zoo
Royal Oak — Detroit Zoo visitors this weekend got a taste of Tofu when the months-old female red panda was spotted exploring her habitat alongside her mother, according to zoo officials.
The baby red panda, born June 22 to mother Ta-Shi and father Shifu, made her debut Saturday in the wooded habitat across from the Amur tigers exhibit.
“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 Societychief life sciences officer. “We’re happy to welcome Tofu to the Detroit Zoo and to contribute to the captive population of this threatened species.”
Red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) are classified as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species due to deforestation in the mountainous regions of Nepal, Myanmar and central China where the animals are found, zoo officials said.
The skilled climbers typically are shy and solitary, except when mating. They are about the size of a house cat, with rust-colored fur and 18-inch white-ringed tails.
The zoological society works in Nepal to study and conserve red panda populations in the wild, zoo officials said. The work includes using trail cameras triggered by motion and heat to take pictures and monitor the animals.