Red Pandas 6: Red Panda Mischief

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Red panda adults are usually pretty good at staying out of trouble, remaining, most of the time, docile and serious. But red panda cubs are prone to playfulness and whimsy. Consider Mohu, who one fine morning noticed her mother Stella out for a stroll and decided to do this:

Red panda cubs like to play. They like to roll wrestle and roll around. Here’s Mohu playing with her mother:

As related in a previous post, Sumo the father of the cubs, once got his head stuck in a pumpkin. While Sumo attempted to get his head loose, Stella and Mohu were doing this:

Although Sequoia Park Zoo’s latest batch of red panda cubs, Cini and Masala, have seemingly outgrown their mischievous “play” stage, they had their fair share of good times in the early months of their cubed. First, some shots of the cubs playing on the ground, sometimes with each other, sometimes with their mother Stella, sometimes with all three of them together:

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But Cini and Masala went well beyond Mohu in their antics. They took their wrestling above ground, where it had some element of danger in it:

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While the mother, Stella, has no interest in playing above ground, she’s not above grabbing the tail of a cub and yanking her down:

But Stella’s favorite move is to stand on her hindquarters, put up her paws, and collapse on her prone victim:

Sometimes she’ll curl her paws menacingly, as so:

Or pin her victim to the ground:

One of the cubs engineered a new method of attack. She climbed up on tree trunk and then jumped off. There was not enough light in the exhibit for the camera to freeze the action, but here we see a blurred club (it looks like Masala) flying through the air:

One of Masala’s greatest achievements is when she pushed her sister into the drinking bowl. Cini had gone to drink and, per usual, she climbed up on the lid of the bowl:

Masala snuck up behind Cini and pushed her sister into the bowl. Cini was instantly transformed into a soggy critter:

Another mischievous move is the rear end sniff:

Nor should we forget the customary touching of the noses:

Red pandas sometimes have fun playing with themselves, as in this shot of a cub trying to snack on her tail:

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Or a cub doing pull-ups with one paw: