My fascination with the red panda (AKA the firefox) started when I saw a funny Japanese TV show clip that had a young woman trying to co-exist with the creatures in a small space.
The animal’s ability to stand on its hind legs also makes it seem like an animated character come to life (and thus one of the cutest things ever).
When I went to the San Diego Zoo a few years ago, I made a point of seeking out red pandas to photograph, but at the time their enclosures were heavy mesh and usually filled with vegetation. However, hanging out in the area long enough allowed me to catch them at feeding time.
Though getting good shots of them proved challenging, it was not impossible, their daytime napping habits ultimately being more of an issue than their cages.
On my recent trip to the zoo, the red pandas had been moved over to the same area as the giant pandas, and given a more open enclosure. The new environment provided some nice photo opportunities, and I got lucky in that they decided to wake up for a little while.
When I went back to the zoo the next day, they were back to their usual pattern of sleeping the day away. Lucky bastards.