Let's Get It On
But such is true love for you.
"He’s received a breeding recommendation from the Red Panda Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)," Brian Hill, the Houston Zoo's director of public relations, wrote in an email. "He is going to the place of his birth — his hometown, if you will — the Cincinnati Zoo, to meet his mate."
The Houston Zoo's other red pandas — Take and Keti — are staying in town to make little red pandas? We're totally cool with that.
Yes, Toby's skipping town for a lady friend. We s'pose Toby was lookin' for love in all the wrong places in the Bayou City. But his new girl must be some panda to get him to leave our cozy metropolis.
Actually, there's a little more to it than that.
"AZA helps manage breeding programs across the country, so all AZA zoos work together to make sure that all animals that are needed in breeding programs are placed in situations that will promote breeding," Hannah Bailey, curator of birds and natural encounters at the Houston Zoo, wrote in an email. "While all three of our red pandas have a very comfortable and enriched life at Houston, four pandas (or two breeding pairs) would be too much."
Well, we don't necessarily think there's such a thing as too many red panda babies, but we'll have to take your word for it.
"Toby will be introduced to a female in Cincinnati," Bailey wrote. "Like with many animals, not everyone wants to raise a family with others in your house — so moving Toby will give Keti and Take some privacy to grow a red panda family at the zoo."
Oh, now we get it.
Hey, wait a second. The Houston Zoo's other red pandas — Take and Keti — are staying in town to make little red pandas? We're totally cool with that.
But we will certainly miss our city's original bushy bamboo biter quite a bit.
Toby is officially heading northeast on Nov. 9, but you can bid him adieu on Sunday at his doubleheader bon voyage parties. After all, it's not every day that the Cutest Animal in the World graces your city with his cuteness. Send him off with a big, burly Texas farewell.
See what Houston can look forward to when Take and Keti make babies in the video player at the top of this story.