Animalia: What's a Doofah? Meet Potter Park Zoo's new red panda


Animalia is a new, weekly feature at the City Pulse highlighting living creatures in the area from a new jellyfish aquarium to pet gators. The goal of the series is to entice the public with local happenings in zoos, pet adoptions and animal sightings, as well as collect stories from humans about their attempts to co-exist with other animals 

In a press release Tuesday, Potter Park Zoo welcomed a new male red panda named DoofahThe pint-sized creature was born at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York, June 21, 2018. He is coming to Potter Park Zoo in hopes for successful breeding in 2020. 

The name Doofah might ring familiar to fans of the feathery female beipiaosaurus in “The Land Before Time XIII.” It’s also a UK colloquialism for someone’s whose name has been forgotten. 

Doofah and Maliha, Potter Park Zoo's female red panda, are a recommended breeding pair from the Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The mission of the Species Survival Plan is to maintain healthy and genetically diverse populations of animals living within the 236 AZA-accredited zoos and to enhance conservation of this species in the wild. 

Rupert Jr., Potter Park’s previous male, was transferred to the Pueblo Zoo in Pueblo, Colorado, based on a recommendation from the Species Survival Plan to pair him with a new female. Rupert Jr. fathered two cubs at Potter Park Zoo in 2016. 

Red pandas are native to Asia, from Nepal to the Sichuan province in China, and are currently endangered. To learn more about the red panda and conservation efforts on their behalf, visit 

The City Pulse will be accepting submissions for news, sightings and encounters dealing with animals in greater Lansing. To submit, please send an email to with “Animalia Submission” in the subject. Attached photos of the animal are required.  


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