Ailurus fulgens fulgens
At the Detroit Zoo
The Detroit Zoo is home to four red pandas. Two red pandas live in the Holtzman Wildlife Foundation Red Panda Forest: male Ravi, born in 2016, and female Ash, born in 2015. Female Ta-Shi, born in 2005, is currently spending time with the newest red panda addition, female Keti, in a habitat on the back side of the bear den. Keti was born in July of 2019 to Ash and hand-reared after birth by Detroit Zoological Society staff. Keti and Ta-Shi will eventually move to join Ash and Ravi in the Holtzman Wildlife Foundation Red Panda Forest. The habitat features more than 14,000 square feet of naturalistic space with a flowing stream and waterfall, an arboreal pathway through the habitat, misting areas to cool the red pandas in the summer, land for exploration and a variety of nesting places. A canopy walkway extends 80 feet through the trees in the red pandas’ habitat and provides unparalleled views of these arboreal animals for adventurous guests.
As their name suggests, red pandas’ fur is mostly rusty-red color. They have white markings on their ears, cheeks, muzzles and above their eyes. Their bushy tails are ringed with light and dark variations of the rusty-red color. Their fur also covers the soles of their feet to help give them traction and prevent them from falling off slippery, wet branches.
Red pandas have extended wrist bones that act like thumbs and allow them to easily hold onto bamboo.
In the past, red pandas have been classified as a relative to the raccoon and the giant panda. Now, they are listed as their own scientific family – the Ailuridae.