Red pandas lovers, rejoice! The cute critters are back at the National Zoo after a two-year hiatus.
Guests can visit Tusa, a 1-year-old male, and Asa, a 1-year-old female, at the Small Mammal House. Zoo officials say the pair will be moved to the red panda exhibit on Asia Trail once upgrades to the exhibit are complete.
“We hope that our visitors will be as excited as we are to have red pandas back at the Zoo,” said Steve Sarro, curator of Asia Trail and the Small Mammal House.
Sadly, the zoo's previous red panda pair will not be returning.
Rusty and Shama were moved from the National Zoo to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute last year for breeding. Shama gave birth to three cubs, but died a few weeks later. Rusty -- known for his escape from the zoo in 2013 -- will remain at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, where zoo officials say he is thriving.