A red panda at Atlanta’s zoo has died after suffering a sudden illness.
Zoo Atlanta says Shandy, a 12-year-old female, died Monday night. She was in the zoo’s veterinary hospital being treated for an illness that was detected earlier in the day. Zoo officials say initial diagnostics and blood tests didn’t immediately identify the specific problem.
Shandy had been at the zoo since October 2008.
Red pandas are solitary nocturnal animals native to Asia, from the Himalayas to southern China. They aren’t related to giant pandas, though they do share some traits.
The species is classified as endangered, but its current status in the wild is unknown. The average lifespan for red pandas is 13 to 14 years.
A necropsy will be performed, as is standard for all zoo deaths.