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Oklahoma City Zoo welcomes two new red pandas

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Zoo is welcoming two adorable new additions to its ranks.

On Friday, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden announced that a pair of endangered red pandas will be coming to the zoo soon.

Zoo officials say 4-year-old Thomas will be coming to the Sooner State from the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, and 3-year-old Leela is coming from the Toledo Zoo.

The move is part of a Species Survival Plan recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The announcement comes just weeks after zoo officials said their female red panda, Wasabi, was being transferred to the Omaha Zoo.

Red pandas are a critically endangered species that live in the Himalaya regions of Nepal. At this point, only about 10,000 remain in the wild. For the record, red pandas are more closely related to raccoons than pandas.

Officials say the pair will be on exhibit beginning in the spring.