Jill Layton
September 24, 2015 6:43 am

Visitors at the Detroit Zoo finally got to lay their lucky eyes on an adorable red panda cub over the weekend, and we are SO jealous. Why are we jealous? Ummmmm, because red panda. Tofu the panda was born on June 22 to her 10-year-old mom Ta-Shi and her 6-year-old dad Shift, but Ta-Shi chose not to let the public see her cub until she was ready. Over the weekend, she must have decided the time was right, because baby Tofu made her debut in the red panda exhibit. Onlookers spotted her wandering around in her wooded habitat with her mom close by.

Scott Carter, Detroit Zoological Society chief life sciences officer told Fox2Detroit, “Ta-Shi took her time bringing her adorable baby girl out into public view, but it was worth the wait. We’re happy to welcome Tofu to the Detroit Zoo and to contribute to the captive population of this threatened species.”

Here’s a little background on red pandas. According to World Wildlife, they are only a little bigger than domestic cats and they have bear-like bodies with thick fur. They’re shy, but super skillful and acrobatic and spend most of their time in trees. Almost 50% of red pandas live in the Eastern Himalayas. The red pandas are endangered because their habitat is being destroyed by deforestation — something humans are doing to spread agriculture, without considering the safety and well-being of so many animals.

The Detroit Zoo is doing their part to help the red pandas remain on Earth. According to Fox2Detroit, “The DZS conducts field work in Nepal to study and conserve red pandas in the wild. 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.”

With all the negativity surrounding the reality behind deforestation, we are really happy to hear that measures are being taken to help these adorable and sweet animals survive. And, like we said, we’re just thrilled to meet baby Tofu.

Watch this Panda celebrate its 30th birthday, but only if you like adorable things

Cuteness Break: This red panda cub is thoroughly enjoying eating an apple

[Images via Twitter, Twitter]

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