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Seattle zoo to debut twin red panda cubs

November 14, 2018
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Red panda cub Zeya, left, and her twin sister Ila climb logs in their temporary outdoor enclosure during a media preview of the animals at the Woodland Park Zoo Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Seattle. The five-month-old cubs are expected to make their public debut to zoo visitors November 23. The cubs are the first successful birth of red pandas at the zoo in 29 years and are among five red pandas now there. Fewer than 10,000 red pandas remain in their native habitat of bamboo forests in China, the Himalayas and Myanmar. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SEATTLE (AP) — Visitors to Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo will soon be able to view the first successful birth of red pandas there in nearly three decades.

The zoo plans to introduce twin red panda cubs at a public outdoor exhibit opening Nov. 23.

Sisters Zeya (ZAY-uh) and Ila (EE-la) have been living in an indoor, climate-controlled area with their mom Hazel since they were born in June.

Zoo officials say the cubs have been climbing trees, hanging out in a high hammock and developing other motor skills.

Red pandas are endangered, and fewer than 10,000 remain in the bamboo forests of China, the Himalayas and Myanmar.

Hazel was brought to the zoo two years ago as part of a conservation breeding program.

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