An 18-month-old resident of the Valley Zoo is doing her part to ensure the survival of her kind.

Sha-Lei, a red panda, leaves today for a zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, to take part in the Species Survival Plan, where she will breed in a bid to save an endangered species.

“Sha-Lei is a genetic gem because she is the offspring of red pandas from Japan, making her genetically different — special in fact,” said Sandy Helliker, an animal health technologist at the zoo. The zoo will retain ownership.