A Red Panda’s Fancy Turns to Love

Here’s yet another panda couple for Washington to coo over

National Zoo Red Panda Meets New Mate (Smithsonian's National Zoo)

We just love the Zoo's mating stories. There's something so deliciously edgy about pondering the sex life of animals. We wonder when...and will they succeed in their efforts? Will the Zoo keepers have to help them do it? And as all of Washington remains hopeful that the grand dame of giant pandas, Mei Xiang, is once again pregnant with another adorable little "Butterstick," here's yet another panda couple to coo over.

Meet Tate, a male red panda who just arrived from New Jersey's Cape May Zoo to hook up with the National Zoo's female, Shama. Red Pandas are endangered and unfortunately mate only once a year. The Zoo's official reports say Tate "immediately exhibited breeding behavior." Blush!

Check out the video below. The pair seemed to have been caught in flagrante delicto, or close to it anyway. And with Valentine's Day at our throats*, what could be more enchanting than watching a Red Panda's fancy turns to love.

*Hey Ed, did you order my dozen roses yet?

Tate and Sharma, two red pandas at the National Zoo, began breeding seconds after being introduced
About Beth Py-Lieberman
Beth Py-Lieberman

Beth Py-Lieberman is the museums editor, covering exhibitions, events and happenings at the Smithsonian Institution. She has been a member of the Smithsonian team for more than two decades.

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