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Help Name Dublin Zoo's Red Panda Twins!

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Dublin Zoo's twin Red Panda cubs, born on July 14, are just starting to venture outside of their den at thee months old. The thriving cubs have a very strong bond with their parents, Angelina and Chota. The twins, one male and one female, weighed approximately .3 pounds (150 grams) at birth, but are growing steadily.

Team Leader Eddie O’Brien says, “Red pandas are endangered in the wild so we are over the moon that this is the third litter born to Angelina and Chota. The cubs are both doing very well and getting more adventurous and confident.”

Dublin Zoo is hosting a naming contest for the pair on their FaceBook page. They are looking for names that celebrate the Red Panda's Asian origin. To submit your ideas, just post a comment here

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6 red pandaPhoto credits: Patrick Bolger / Dublin Zoo

Red Pandas are not closely related to Giant Pandas; rather, they belong in their own unique group that is more closely related to weasels. They are native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. Fully grown, they are slightly larger than domestic cats. Red Pandas spend most of their time in trees, eating a variety of fruits, leaves and eggs. Their long bushy tails are excellent for balance, and also serve as a cozy wrap-around scarf for the Red Panda in cold weather. They also have fur on the soles of their feet to prevent them from slipping on wet branches. 

Although protected throughout most of their range, Red Pandas are threatened by poaching and habitat loss. They have been classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Species; it is estimated that there are fewer than 10,000 adult Red Pandas.