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




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

Mad Liberation

Web Exclusive: With sold out shows nationwide, metro Detroit DJ GRiZ plans to release his third album next fall.

Et Cetera

What's hot this month? Hour Detroit staff always come across random products or facts and figures that catch our attention.

Long Gone

Tiger Stadium isn't the Detroit area's only bygone baseball venue

The Way it Was - Opening Pitch at Briggs Stadium

End Game

As Detroiters continue to bask in Midtown's glow, community powerhouse Sue Mosey says there's plenty more work to do

Most Popular

  1. Raising the Bar
    From metro Detroit hails an online fundraising platform that's been redefining philanthropy on a...
  2. If You Build It Right, Millions Will Come
    How an arms race architect named Dave Dombrowski has taken the Detroit Tigers from helpless to...
  3. Honest and Well-Done
    Royal Oak's Trattoria Da Luigi isn't glamorous — just rustic, lovable...and marvelous
  4. Scene Stealer
    Detroit-born Broadway star Elaine Stritch still attracts — and charms — a crowd
  5. Fashion Meets Furniture
    Nigel Barker left N.Y. Fashion Week early to team up with Art Van
  6. Long Gone
    Tiger Stadium isn't the Detroit area's only bygone baseball venue
  7. Green is Good
    It's the time of the season for digging, pruning, and (maybe) planting
  8. Into the Deep
    n an underwater world of mystery and intrigue, an enchanting creature reveals the season's most...
  9. Bastone Brewery Turns 10
    Bastone Brewery has reached a milestone of 10 years in business. To celebrate their anniversary,...