Closer look at red pandas at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

CLEVELAND-- The red pandas at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo are enjoying the colder weather.

Xue Li and her two cubs were outside on Monday, climbing in their habitat, and snacking on fruit and bamboo. The brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm, were born on June 20.

"They are happier when it's colder out," said Tad Schoffner, curator of animals. "They like snow and they naturally come from a cooler climate."

Xue Li was born at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo four years ago and had to be hand reared. Schoffner said she is very familiar with the keepers' and the feeding schedule.

"One of the exciting things involving our red pandas is that we will be opening our new Asian Highlands exhibit in the summer of this year," Schoffner said.

The Asian Highlands will also be home to the zoo's snow leopards and takin.

Red pandas are considered endangered, mostly because of habitat loss. They are part of the species survival plan, which helps keep them sustainable in zoos. That means the two cubs will move to different zoos this year, but a new male with join Xue Li.

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