The SF Zoo’s Red Panda is the most beautiful creature on God’s green earth, hands down.

by sanjosebarstool

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SFist.com – On Saturday, May 10th the San Francisco Zoo will welcome the newest addition to its incredibly adorable family: a 10-month-old male red panda.

Naming rights will go to the Zoo’s emeritus board member Barry Lipman and his wife, Marie, whodonated a cool $31,000 for the honor. (So, expect him to be named “Barry,” maybe?)

Red Pandas, in case you’re not up to date on your taxonomy, are not that closely related the black and white Giant Pandas. They’re actually part of the superfamily Musteloidea and are more similar to mustelids like weasels and otters. Red Pandas have a charming waddling gait and generally enjoy a solitary life of daytime naps and nighttime meals of bamboo, birds, eggs and other lesser mammals.

In addition to being one of the cutest things we’ve seen at the zoo at least since Jillian was born, the arboreal mammal will be getting his own custom-built enclosure made by the people from Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters. In the wild, red pandas without luxury treehouses are considered threatened and their habitat has been damaged by human encroachment.

Mr. Red Panda will make his public debut at the zoo on May 10th at 10 a.m., with his TV appearance to follow sometime in June.

Stay tuned, because I know where I’ll be on May 1st. Count it.

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