Red pandas return to Utah’s Hogle Zoo

SALT LAKE CITY - They're called red panda's, but they have no relation to giant pandas.

They look a little like raccoons or foxes, but there's no connection there either.

Utah's Hogle Zoo is doing a service to the natural world by investing in an exhibit and playing a role in red panda conservation.

Red pandas the only members of the family Ailuridae, and this special branch of the animal kingdom is endangered.

But, really, the reason to go see them is they're so darn cute.

"We're thrilled to be able to bring back what is arguably one of the cutest faces in the animal kingdom," said Hogle Zoo President and CEO Steve Burns.

The male and female red pandas are on display as part of the Asian Highlands exhibit at Hogle Zoo, which is especially exciting for Bountiful student Luke Livsey, who wore a special red coat on a field trip to see the animals he loves.

"I love red pandas. They're adorable, and I wanted to dress to appreciate them," said Luke.

Hogle Zoo staff members conducted a demonstration with the pandas following the ribbon cutting ceremony: