Red Pandas Rusty and Shama have Moved to Virginia

by Prince Of Petworth January 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm 24 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user J Sonder

Ed. Note: You can read a tribute to Red Pandas here and relive Rusty’s temporary escape here.

From the National Zoo:

“Red pandas Rusty and Shama have moved from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo to our Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. Rusty and Shama are paired as a result of a breeding recommendation based on the Species Survival Plan. Shama has bred successfully in the Zoo’s exhibit, but it’s possible the increased visitor traffic for giant panda Bao Bao could have compromised successful breeding for this pair. Out at SCBI, Rusty and Shama will get a little extra peace and quiet. Animal keepers report that Rusty and Shama are adjusting well to their new surroundings. Rusty immediately began to explore his new enclosure before munching down some bamboo grown onsite at SCBI.

We are working to bring in one to two non-breeding red pandas to the Zoo’s Asia Trail exhibit this spring. With the addition of Rusty and Shama, SCBI now has four breeding pairs of red pandas. Send them all some good vibes as we hope for healthy red panda cubs sometime in the summer. After a gestation of about 134 days, red pandas have litters of one to four cubs. They stay in the nest for about 90 days, remain close to their mother until the next mating season begins, and reach adult size at about 12 months.”

  • bmoredc

    Nooooo! They’re my favorites! Man, this is a bummer…but I will try to keep in mind that it’ll all be worth it if it means red panda cubs! And maybe Rusty will have some new adventures at his country home. (And I’m sure the replacement red pandas will be super-cute too, but I hope Rusty and Shama will come back after breeding season!)

  • The Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together
    Love Shack, baby. . .

  • Anonymous

    Moved to Virginia to have babies, just like all my other 30-something DC friends. Womp.

    • Anonymous

      Actual LOL.

    • textdoc


    • Ha, so true!

    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      Yeah, bad move on their part. They were already in-boundary for Oyster Adams-Deal-Wilson!

  • ontarioroader

    Does anyone know if you can visit the zoo’s Front Royal facility? Sounds like they have some pretty cool animals out there.

    • Anonymous

      They open it to FONZ members once a year, usually. But the annual open house was canceled last year due to construction or something.

      • Anonymous

        It was canceled due to the government shut-down or sequestration (can’t remember what affected what anymore).
        Students can go to the facility, and I think enviro-groups can make arrangements for conferences there.

  • Anonymous

    Another victim of gentrification.

  • TG

    Has anyone ever considered that maybe Rusty is just not that into Shama. He did try to escape, after all.

  • Kevin

    At least now they have voting representation in Congress.

  • theREALjustinbc

    A truly sad day for DC. The tyrannical Giant Pandas, the most overrated animal of all time, and their idiot fans, have blood on their hands for this.

  • SFT

    Even the panda’s are getting priced out of DC :)

  • Anonymous

    Virginia is for Lovers!

  • jcm

    Maybe we’ll see him sometimes at Lauriol Plaza.

    • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I hope, for Rusty and Shama’s sake, that neither of them happen to be gay.

  • Bao Bao is an a-hole.

  • Alexis

    So unbelievably sad!!!!

  • spookiness

    Like many Asian immigrants, they decided Virginia had better schools.


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