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

Web Exclusive: Meeting the Beatles

Fifty years ago, a Detroit-area teenager won a contest to meet The Beatles.

The Way It Was - Olympia Stadium

The Way It Was - State Fairs

Picnics Plus

Rose’s Fine Food stakes out a reclaimed diner near Belle Isle.

Déjà Food

Exotic Chinese food, circa 1960

Most Popular

  1. 2014 Best Dressed List
    They come from all walks of life — from automotive, hospitality, and health to politics and...
  2. Staying Power
    Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italia restaurant group celebrates its 25th anniversary
  3. Hour Detroit's Best Dressed Celebration 2014 Video Invitation
  4. All That Jazz
    A full-swing resurgence is drawing on Detroit’s rich music culture
  5. Takashi, Take Two
    Slurping Turtle offers hip takes on traditional Japanese dishes.
  6. Ludington Area Beer Scene
    Ludington, Michigan represents the Michigan Craft Beer Scene
  7. Portrait of a Collector
    Robert Hudson Tannahill’s bequest left the DIA a priceless visual legacy
  8. It's About Family
    Downtown Plymouth’s Nico & Vali is a slice of Italiana — with some twists
  9. Milford Craft Beer Week
    Raise your glass to local brews during the week of festivities
  10. Taking Root
    Growth is slow but steady for family-owned, Michigan-centric The Granola Tree