Tate, the new male red panda at NZ, was released from quarantine today and introduced to his intended mate, female Shama. She was kept back and off exhibit, so that Tate could freely explore and get comfortable in the outside exhibit area. While I was there, Tate would intermittently go in the back where he and Shama had mesh access. The keepers had also installed a heater...it was very cold today. Red pandas thrive in cold weather but it could be because Tate was inside during his 30 day quarantine and needs to get acclimated. The high today was only about 25 degrees!
When Tate did explore his new outside surroundings, he did his very best to furiously scent mark every rock, log, nook and cranny. He gives a special wiggle waggle to his scent marks too...he's very cute to watch!
made Explore on Feb, 5, 2009
(Thanks to jdbartross!)