The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Washington, DC - Smithsonian National Zoo Has Announced That the Red Pandas Are Back on Exhibit in the Nation’s Capital

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Washington, DC - Smithsonian National Zoo Has Announced That the Red Pandas Are Back on Exhibit in the Nation’s Capital

Smithsonian National Zoo has announced that red pandas are once again on exhibit in the nation’s capital, after a two-year absence.

For now, male Tusa and female Asa, both 1 year old, will be on display at the zoo’s small mammal house. The ginger cuties will move at a later date into swanky new digs -- boasting indoor heat, air conditioning, new perches, and plenty of quiet -- now under construction for them on the larger "Asia Trail" red panda exhibit.

The zoo’s previous pair of red pandas, Shama and Rusty, were transferred to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) two years ago this month, so they could breed. The couple did produce three cubs in June 2014, but, sadly, Shama died soon after they were born.

Rusty, however, is “thriving” at the SCBI, according to zoo staff. The clever male made a name for himself in June 2013 when he staged a very public, and Internet-viral, escape to the streets of D.C.
While Tusa and Asa will call D.C. home, their species — listed as endangered on the IUCN’s “red list” of threatened species, with fewer than 10,000 thought to remain in the wild — is native to Nepal, China, Bhutan and India. SCBI has long studied the adorable animals.

“We’ve made a commitment to study red pandas,” said curator Steve Sarro in a release, “and we hope that they inspire the public to help us conserve this endangered species and their habitat for many generations to come.”



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