Red Pandas 5: Masala

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Masala, daughter of Sumo and Stella, sometimes can be a bit overshadowed by her more courageous and adventuresome sister, Cini. Masala is a bit more serious and pragmatic red panda, more like her mother, Stella. She is often the last red panda to come out at feeding time, but she’s also often the last red panda to return to the sleeping den. She’s more true to her arboreal roots, preferring to spend most of her life somewhere in the exhibit’s climbing apparatus, and only condescending to touch the earth in order to drink at the water dish. Like her parents and her sisters, Masala is an expressive red panda, but her expressions tend toward the curious and the serious, rather than the mischievous or the ebullient.

Even though she likes to stay off the ground, this doesn’t mean she has always been particularly sure-footed. She’s still a tad clumsy. Consider this little eating episode. She was snacking on some bamboo leaves, but she wasn’t being so careful as to her support system:

And then this happened:

She was not so very comfortable chewing on her bamboo leaves after that episode:

Here’s a video of Masala in action, eating her favorite treat, bamboo leaves:

Here are a couple of rare images of Masala on terra firma.

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More shots of Masala in her element, up off the ground:

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Here’s a shot of Masala with her mother, Stella Luna:

Masala is an innovative red panda. Here’s a shot of Masala turning her tail into a headrest/scarf:

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And here’s a couple of shots taken in close succession: