A 3-month-old red panda cub named Tofu struts her fluff during her first public appearance inside a wooded habitat at the Detroit Zoo. The female cub was born on June 22 to 10-year-old mother Tai-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, the Chief Life Science Officer at the Detroit Zoological Society. "We’re happy to welcome Tofu to the Detroit Zoo and to contribute to the captive population of this threatened species."
Red pandas are perhaps best known for their fluffy, rust-colored fur and long, ringed tails. Although they are usually quite shy and solitary, they've been known to have some silly fun from time to time.
Originally hailing from the mountains of Nepal, Myanmar and China, these adorable cat-sized critters are expert tree climbers and they spend a great deal of their lives lounging and hanging from tree branches. Sadly, their numbers are on a decline, which is why they have been classified as an vulnerable species.
Knowing how important the conservation of this species is, the Detroit Zoological Society is heavily involved with red panda conservation work, and regularly conducts field work and study in Nepal.
As an organization spokesperson explains, "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."