Have you met the newest red panda at the Detroit Zoo? What are you waiting for! Keep reading to meet Ginger, an adorable red panda who has called the Zoo home since late last year.
Sugar and spice and everything nice — that’s how people describe one of the Zoo’s newest residents.
Ginger, a 1-and-a-half-year-old red panda, made her debut in the Holtzman Wildlife Foundation Red Panda Forest in December 2022. Since her arrival, animal care specialists say they have fallen in love with her curious and playful personality.
“She can be a little sassy,” says Sarah Allan, an animal care specialist who works closely with the new arrival. “Ginger seems to be able to get whatever she wants. She is very curious about new things, and she’s quick to investigate if I’m putting out a new toy or treats. I’d say she’s pretty brave.”
Ginger came to the Detroit Zoo on a recommendation from an Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative population management program that helps ensure the sustainability of healthy captive animal populations. As red pandas are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the SSP is vital to ensuring the future of this species in zoos.
Zoo officials hope Ginger’s arrival will result in a successful coupling with resident male Ravi. Though Ravi is shier and more reserved than Ginger, the animal care team reports the pair are getting along well.
“Ravi is really polite to her and is more active since Ginger arrived,” Allan says. “Breeding is really important to maintaining a genetically diverse population in a species that is declining in the wild, so we really hope to have some baby red pandas soon.”