Tribulations of Stella

Sequoia Park Zoo SM13-72

At the Sequoia Park Zoo last Saturday I had a chance to see how Stella was getting along now that she has been a mother for nearly three weeks. She keeps her daughter safely ferreted away in a den on the side of her exhibit enclosure. On Saturday morning she came out of her den to feast on some bamboo leaves:

But there were some crows making a racket on the other side of her little den, it clearly bothered her. She kept looking that direction, as if there might be something she needed to worry about:

Finally, in a bit of a panic, she decided to head of toward her den to make sure everything was okay. The only problem was that the quickest way to the den was blocked by Sumo, her erstwhile mate, and he had no intention of getting out of her way. Stella tried to get him to move aside, but he would have none of it:

She even tried to squeeze by him:

But Sumo snarled at her and she was forced to turn tail and find another route back to her den:

Stella is not exactly the most acrobatic of red pandas. She usually moves quite gingerly along the elevated branches in the Red Panda exhibit. But this time she moved with remarkable alacrity. I had never seen her move so quickly, as she scampered across the branches, speedily ascended to the ground, and sprinted to her den. Meanwhile, Sumo watched the proceedings with mild interest:

Ten minutes later Stella returned to feast on some more bamboo: