[NOTE: This blog entry contains potentially doofy euphemisms for red pandas engaging in reproductive relations. Blame the guy at the tough questions, as he’s the one who alerted me to the story.]

Anyone who knows me is likely aware that the red panda is my favorite animal. I like to believe there’s a reason two creatures with the title “panda” exist, and that the red version is God’s more successful do-over.

Thus, if any red panda-worthy news happens out there, it’s likely I will either find it or be told of it. This includes, I was amused to find today, news on grassroots efforts to help red pandas have sex.

The folks over at WindyCitizen.com apparently caught wind of the local Lincoln Park Zoo seeking the funds to build nest boxes for their coming red pandas to get some private time for “courting.” So the site, in what I am sure is an entirely serious and conservationist turn devoid of any schoolchild giggling, opened the “Lincoln Park Red Panda Sex Fund.” I’m hoping they ran out of space to make it a sex drive.

Now let’s set some things straight. Red pandas are not prudes. Some are more than happy to engage in public displays of affection. Red pandas also don’t have any problems knowing how to bump fuzzies, unlike their giant cousins. There isn’t going to be any latenight Pandamax channel on in these boxes. However, they do seem to prefer being alone when it comes to mating, as discovered when socks thrown into the habitats of captive red panda couples were later found hanging on the ends of branches beside seclusive thickets.

The best part of this story is that WindyCitizens was very successful in the effort, earning enough money for two nest boxes within a day. So say what you will–make your jokes about Chicagoans throwing money for love hotels so red pandas can play “hide the bamboo.” But the chipping in of some people can very well lead to more of these:

And that’s awesome.

Also yes, you can probably expect “Pandas of Passion” to pop up in my “Romance Stories” series someday.