OKC Zoo celebrates red pandas on World Red Panda Day

OKLAHOMA  CITY - Baby animals are always cute but red panda newborns are a show stopper.

The two red panda cubs got a ton of love as the Oklahoma City Zoo celebrated World Red Panda Day on Saturday.

In the wild, the cute little critters live in the Himalaya mountains of Nepal and central China.

The Oklahoma City Zoo has an adult pair, and the mom, Leela, just gave birth back in June to two cubs: Ravi and Khyana.

"They are actually venturing out of the nest box, they are spending time climbing all over the trees and branches in the habitat," said Tyler Boyd, Curator at the OKC Zoo.

The zoo celebrated Red Panda Day with games, crafts, bio-facts, enrichment activities for all ages.

It's all in an effort to raise awareness for the bushy-tailed omnivores' critical situation.

"Red pandas actually are endangered. There are fewer than 10,000 individuals left in the wild," said Boyd.

Their tail can grow to 18 inches long, which helps with their balance in the trees and keeps them warm in the cold mountain air.

They mainly eat bamboo but also mix in fruits, nuts, roots, and eggs.

With threats from deforestation, thanks to farming and ranching, this new generation of pandas at the zoo is important.

"Every red panda birth that we have here at the Oklahoma City Zoo is vital to the population. We are able to help grow that and kind of inspire people to take care of them for future generations," said Boyd.

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