Knoxville Zoo red pandas named Tabei and Tenzing

Knoxville Zoo red pandas named Tabei and Tenzing

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The Knoxville Zoo's newest red panda cubs were named Tabei and Tenzing after a public vote. (source: Knoxville Zoo) The Knoxville Zoo's newest red panda cubs were named Tabei and Tenzing after a public vote. (source: Knoxville Zoo)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The votes have been counted, and the Knoxville Zoo's 15-week-old red panda cubs have been named Tabei and Tenzing.

The names are tributes to some of the first pioneers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world and part of the red pandas' native heritage.

Junko Tabei was the first woman to summit the mountain in 1975, while Tenzing Norgay was the Sherpa guide who accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on the first climb to the peak in 1953.

The names Summit and Neyland came in second among the four pairs of nominations that were put to a public vote.

Donations of $1 per vote raised more than $1,000 to support the zoo's red panda conservation program.

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