The only female red panda at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo has been euthanized at 14 years old because of age-related liver and heart problems.
The zoo had hoped Lili, despite her age and her ailments, would give birth to more offspring. She was the mother of five, with four living pandas now placed in other zoos in the United States.
Red pandas, also known as “lesser pandas,” are native to China and the Himalayas. They resemble raccoons, but instead of black markings, the pandas have fire-colored fur with dark red markings. Adult animals range from 20 to 26 inches long and weigh 7 to 13 pounds.
Lili’s male companion, Long Quiang, 10, is now alone.
“We’re in a hurry to get another female,” said Gigi Ogilvie, zoo spokeswoman. “Red pandas are an endangered species.”
Lili was donated to the Woodland Park Zoo in 1985 by the Chongging Zoological Gardens in Chongging, China. Long Quiang, originally from China and unrelated to any pandas now in captivity, was brought to Woodland Park to breed with her.
Red pandas live about eight years in the wild and up to 15 years in zoos.
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