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Omaha zoo puts red panda on display ahead of schedule

OMAHA, Neb. – The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium in Omaha has a panda on display – but not the black-and-white animal from China.

The Omaha World-Herald reports the zoo has a red panda on display ahead of completion of the zoo’s new home for the animals – set to open in the spring – in it Asian Highlands exhibit.

Zoo officials say the 2-year-old red panda named Tofu arrived from the Detroit Zoo in January. Tofu will eventually be joined by another female and a breeding male.

The Omaha zoo first acquired red pandas in 1987, then phased out the species in 1997.

Despite the name, red pandas aren’t related to giant pandas. Red pandas are close relatives to raccoons, skunks and weasels and are the size of a small raccoon.

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