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Franklin Park Zoo’s red pandas spend the day goofing off in the snow

By Elise Takahama Globe Correspondent 

Many Boston residents opted to stay inside after the storm Thursday, but a couple of inhabitants at the Franklin Park Zoo chose to spend the snow day a little differently.

The zoo posted a video on Facebook Thursday afternoon of its two red pandas — Hoppy and Fia — goofing off in the snow together.

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In the video, the furry reddish creatures, who’ll turn 2 years old this summer, can be seen bounding through the snow, climbing up bamboo, and rolling on the ground.

“Especially at their ages, they have a lot of energy,” Zoo New England chief executive John Linehan said. “They’re pretty playful and active.”

The pair arrived at Franklin Park late last summer, as part of the Children’s Zoo exhibit, he said.

“They get along great,” Linehan said. “They love each other a lot and pretty much spend time together 24/7. They are very well-bonded.”

Red pandas are typically found in the eastern Himalayas and southwest China, so they’re suited to the colder weather, according to Franklin Park Zoo. They’re primarily vegetarians but also eat some meat occasionally, Linehan said.

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“They eat lots of leaves, and they like bamboo,” he said. “They get bamboo daily, and also eat other fruits and vegetables.”

While Hoppy and Fia spent their whole day out in the snow, many of the other animals were off-exhibit Thursday, Linehan said.

“Frankly, this is very slippery snow . . . it’s so heavy and we wanted to make sure none of the branches break in their exhibits and come down on them,” he said.

Most of the animals out and about during the stormy weather are in the zoo’s tropical forest, which houses gorillas, lemurs, ocelots, pygmy hippos, monkeys, and tapirs.

“Some people forget that we’re open,” Linehan said, “and it’s a great place to visit during the winter,” he said.


Elise Takahama can be reached at elise.takahama@globe.com
Follow her on Twitter @elisetakahama.