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There’s a new bearcat on display in SLO County — but it’s not in Paso Robles

Watch these red pandas enjoying their new exhibit at the Atascadero Zoo

The Thelma Vetter Red Panda Experience is a new exhibit at the Atascadero Zoo featuring three male red pandas. 10 new animal species are also part of the exhibit with animals from Indo Burma.
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The Thelma Vetter Red Panda Experience is a new exhibit at the Atascadero Zoo featuring three male red pandas. 10 new animal species are also part of the exhibit with animals from Indo Burma.

The Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero recently welcomed three new animals — one baby and two potential mates for those already on display.

A new female prehensile-tailed porcupine was born on April 9, joining a family the zoo has had on display for more than 17 years, according to a news release.

An 8-month-old female crested screamer — known for its distinctive call, the loudest of any bird — came to the zoo from Pinola Conservancy in Louisiana as a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

“After some time spent to adapt to her new surroundings, she has now bonded with a longtime zoo resident male crested screamer,” according to the news release. “Visitors may enjoy observing this romantic relationship blossom.”

A new female bearcat, or binturong, was also brought to the zoo as part of a potential breeding match. The animal came from the Virginia Zoological Park to join the zoo’s male bearcat, Johnson.

“The zoo is very happy to extend an open invitation to all local Paso Bearcats to come for a visit soon, to look for the real-life inspiration for their team mascot,” the news release reads.

The zoo is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit charlespaddockzoo.org or call 805-461-5080.

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Lindsey Holden writes about housing, immigration and everything in between for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. She also covers northern San Luis Obispo County city governments and school districts. Lindsey joined The Tribune in 2016 after working for the Rockford Register Star in Illinois. She’s a native Californian raised in the Midwest and is a proud graduate of two Chicago schools: DePaul University and Northwestern University.

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