There is nothing cuter than seeing a couple of nine month old Red Pandas. For the first time we managed to catch them playing as they were brought back onto the exhibit at the Detroit Zoo on our last visit. Ta-Shi (mum) and Shifu (dad) had their first litter together in June of 2013, they were first announced as male, but in fact they are both girls and are spending their time occasionally outside in their exhibit before they both go off to another zoo for breeding programs.
As Red Pandas are on the vulnerable species list due to deforestation, they are selected into breeding programs as soon as they are born and despite their name, they aren't closely related to the giant Panda. Slightly larger than you domestic kitty, they mainly snack on bamboo but are omnivorous creatures. Typically they are largely sedentary begins and enjoy their own company and normally when we visit in the summer months they are lost high up in the trees so to be able to seeing all four of them out and playing, was a very rare treat indeed. Contrary to the norm, Shifu a first time dad has apparently been a bit of a hands on father with his babies, mother is especially playful as you can see in many of the photographs she actively plays.
Aren't they all just adorable?!