Looking for Love?: Detroit Zoo's Red Panda

Just in time for the red panda mating season, the Detroit Zoo finds a new match for Ta-Shi



Published:

TA-SHI - A 7-year-old red panda.

 

Dim the lights and cue the Barry White. The Detroit Zoo has found a new mate for its 7-year-old red panda, Ta-Shi. Her potential suitor, 3-year-old Shifu, arrived in December with a “breeding recommendation” as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan — a sort of zoo-animal-dating service to bolster the populations of threatened species. The red panda’s mating season is January through March, a perfect time for these otherwise solitary creatures to be struck by Cupid’s arrow.

Despite their name, the house-cat-sized red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) aren’t actually bears. They’re found in the mountainous regions of Nepal, Myanmar, and central China, and because of deforestation, they’re considered “vulnerable.”

Since her arrival in November 2008, Ta-Shi’s had a successful mommy track record, spawning five cubs (her most recent, Sherman, still resides at the Detroit Zoo). Zoo staffers say she’s very attentive and protective of her babies and that she also has quite the sweet tooth. Her favorite treat: dried cherries.

Archive »Related Content

Forced Labor

Michigan organizations join the battle against human trafficking.

Still in Session

Former Detroit bad boy Judge Greg Mathis is still going strong after 15 seasons of reality TV

Such Great Heights

Local folk musician’s new video chronicles an intense yearlong journey

Global Road Trip

Detroit Lions fans plan for a very early tailgate party

Home Field Advantage

Gridiron Glory football exhibit hits the Henry Ford

Most Popular

  1. 6th Annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival
    Limited tickets remain for the final Michigan Brewers Guild beer festival for 2014.
  2. Fit for Fall: A Little Love for Lemberger
    ‘Forget the name and try it’
  3. Savor Detroit Fall 2014 Video Recap
    Hour Detroit's Savor Detroit — a five-night dinner series featuring custom menus developed by...