Henry Vilas Zoo welcomes red panda and he’s too cute!

The Henry Vilas Zoo welcomed its newest red panda, Bandit.
The Henry Vilas Zoo welcomed its newest red panda, Bandit.(Henry Vilas Zoo)
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 4:11 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Watch out! This bandit will steal your heart.

The Henry Vilas Zoo welcomed its new four-legged friend, and the adorable meter is overloading. Two-year-old Bandit has made his move to Madison and panda lovers won’t have to wait long to meet him.

The endangered red panda just met his new roommate, Tai, and starting Thursday they will be spending part of the day at the Children’s Zoo, near the goat yard, so zoo guests can meet them.

“Our red pandas are among the most popular attractions at the zoo, so we are incredibly excited to welcome Bandit and know he will be an instant family favorite,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “A huge thank you goes out to our staff for helping Bandit settle into his new home.”

While Bandit is new to the Badger State, he still has roots here. One of his great-grandfathers, Lum, came to the zoo in 2012, while another great-grandfather, Tarrei, lived there until he passed in December of last year at the age of 19.

Bandit moved to the Wisconsin capital from the Columbus Zoo, in Ohio’s capital. The zoo says he’s already gone through his health checks, and Zoo Director Ronda Schwetz adds, “he’s already showing his inquisitive personality.”

“He is very curious and loves to climb and explore,” she continued. “It was rough on all of us when we lost Tarrei, so we are all very excited to have a young red panda back at the Zoo.”

The Henry Vilas Zoo said Tuesday that it was heartbroken over the death of 19-year old male red...
The Henry Vilas Zoo said Tuesday that it was heartbroken over the death of 19-year old male red panda, Tarrei, who died on December 20, 2021.(Henry Vilas Zoo FB)

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