Endangered baby red panda born at Nebraska zoo

LINCOLN, Neb. — For the first time in almost a decade, the Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska has welcomed a baby red panda.

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According to the Lincoln Journal Star and KLKN-TV, the attraction announced Wednesday that the new cub, Betty, was born to parents Tián and Liu on June 4.

“Mom and cub are both healthy and thriving,” the zoo captioned a Facebook photo of the new arrival, Tián’s first offspring.

The zoo went on to provide some behind-the-scenes details about the current living situation of the mom and cub.

“After giving birth, in the wild female red pandas will use tree hollows or rock crevices lined with plant material for nests,” the Facebook post read. “To replicate this, our zookeepers created six nest boxes behind the scenes with bamboo and wood wool inside as nesting material. Mothers will spend almost all their time in the nest box with the cub for the first few weeks after giving birth and longer periods of time away in close proximity as the cub gets older.”

Although both can access the public red panda exhibit, zoo visitors probably won’t see the cub there “until sometime this fall,” according to the post.

The last time a red panda was born at the zoo was eight years ago, the Journal Star and KLKN reported.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers red pandas endangered. The population of the species “has plausibly declined by 50%” in 18 years, according to the organization’s website.