Ailurus fulgens fulgens
At the Detroit Zoo
Female Ta-shi and her cub, Tofu, born in 2015, can be found in their wooded habitat across from the tigers in the Asian Forest. Red pandas often spend their time climbing trees and lounging on limbs and are best seen in the spring, fall and winter when the leaves are sparse.
As its name suggests, the red panda’s fur is mostly a rusty-red color. It has white markings on its ears, cheeks, muzzle and above its eyes. Its bushy tail is ringed with light and dark variations of the rusty-red color. Its fur also covers the soles of its feet to help give it traction and prevent it from falling off slippery, wet branches.
The red panda, like the giant panda, has an extended wrist bone that acts like a thumb and allows it to easily hold onto bamboo.
In the past, the red panda has been classified as a relative to the raccoon and the giant panda. Now, it is listed as its own scientific family – the Ailuridae.