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A red panda cub was born at Millbrook School’s Trevor Zoo on July 7. Red pandas are on the endangered species list, with only about 3,000 of them left in the wild today. Photo submitted

Endangered red panda born at Millbrook’s Trevor Zoo

MILLBROOK — Mom Betsy and dad Zhu are the proud parents of a new red panda cub, as of press time still unnamed. The endangered and very adorable creature was born locally, at Millbrook School’s Trevor Zoo, which made the announcement shortly after the July 7th birth.

The proud parents were paired through a breeding program by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) program. The goal is to help the red panda — on the endangered species list — procreate.

The little cub’s birth was a special event at the Trevor Zoo, and its third success in breeding a red panda. The first two cubs born there have since been relocated to other zoos to help forward the breeding program.

There are nine other endangered species at the Millbrook zoo.

Betsy was born in 2015 at the Philadelphia Zoo, and then spent time at the Central Park Zoo before arriving at Trevor Zoo in 2020.

Zhu was born in 2013 at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Mich., and came to Millbrook in 2017 from a zoo in Knoxville, Tenn.

The pair produced cubs last year that didn’t survive; a second cub was born this year but likewise didn’t survive, making the announcement of the infant red panda all the more significant for those at the Trevor Zoo.

The zoo’s staff is letting Betsy do most of the work caring for her cub, and said she’s doing a great job. Of course, they’re keeping a close eye on both mom and cub to make sure all is going well.

Zhu has been moved to a separate space so Betsy can tend to her newborn, who will be nursed for about three months and will not eat any other food during that period.

The staff keeps watch on the pair through interior cameras and has watched the animals nest in different areas.

Zoo patrons looking forward to meeting the new cub may have to wait a few months before that’s allowed. Meanwhile, Trevor Zoo has set up cameras with live feeds so everyone can see Betsy with her new cub, along with the other zoo animals. To check out the live camera, go to www.millbrook.org/trevorzoolive.

The Trevor Zoo is located at The Millbrook School; it is the only high school in the nation with a fully accredited zoo on its premises.

For details, go to www.millbrook.org.

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