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Madison welcomes a new resident: a red panda

All the way from Nebraska’s Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Betty joined fellow red panda Bandit at the Henry Vilas Zoo last week.

A red panda looks down from a tree

Betty is a one-year-old female red panda who now calls the Henry Vilas Zoo home. | Photo by Henry Vilas Zoo

It’s National Zoo Lovers Day, and now there’s one more reason to love Madison’s Henry Vilas Zoo. It’s now home to Betty, a red panda.

Betty was introduced to Bandit, the zoo’s other red panda, last week after being in quarantine since March for routine health checks. The two are now available for public viewing.

Betty is a Midwesterner — she comes to Madison by way of Nebraska’s Lincoln Children’s Zoo. She also has ties to the 608: her great grandmother was Tarrei, a red panda at the Henry Vilas Zoo who died in 2021 at the age of 19.

An endangered species, there are believed to be fewer than 2,500 red panda adults left in the wild. Madison’s zoo is a part of the Red Panda Network, which is committed to their conservation. You can help.

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