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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rusty, the Roger Williams Park Zoo’s resident red panda, now has a new friend.

The zoo recently welcomed Zan, a 3-year-old red panda from Woodland Park Zoo in Washington.

Rusty, 17, has been alone since October, when his mate Sha-Lei passed away. The pairing was a recommendation from the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Red Panda Species Survival Program, according to the zoo.

The zoo said Zan and Rusty will only be on exhibit through mid-June, since the red panda habitat “is getting a complete redesign.” The habitat will be under construction through spring 2024.

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