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Second red panda triplet dies at suburban Philadelphia zoo

Associated Press

NORRISTOWN, Pa. – A red panda, a species listed as endangered, has died at a suburban Philadelphia zoo.

It was the second of triplets at the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown to die.

The zoo says Shredder, a 2-year-old male, died Wednesday. A necropsy found an enlarged heart and thickened heart walls, both signs of heart disease.

A sibling, Clinger, died in December 2015 from encephalitis caused by a brain parasite.

Officials are examining the surviving triplet to ensure he’s healthy.

Fewer than 10,000 red pandas live in the wild. The triplets came to the zoo in the spring of 2015 from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Dr. Adam Denish, the zoo’s veterinarian, says research from other U.S. zoos suggests heart disease can be a common cause of death among younger red pandas.

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