News 13 gets special sneak preview of 2 new residents of WNC Nature Center

    Photo: WLOS

    The WNC Nature Center was seeing red Saturday with the arrival of its newest residents.

    Two red pandas are making themselves at home after a move to the mountains from Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

    News 13 got a sneak peek as the Center waits to make sure Leafa and Phoenix have time to adapt.

    It was a bit chilly--but administrators say red pandas are used to that.

    There are high hopes for them here in Asheville.

    "They have a very strong conservation program in the wild where they live in central Asia, hopefully in the future we'll get a pair that can breed, and we can contribute to the genetics of the populations that are in zoos and nature centers," said WNC Nature Center Director Chris Gentile.

    The red panda exhibit officially opens on Valentine's Day.

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