Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium is mourning the unexpected death of a red panda named Kovu, who died on Sunday night. According to the zoo, the nine-year-old red panda began displaying unusual behavior, including trouble walking, on Friday night.
Kovu was immediately transferred to the zoo’s veterinary hospital for care, but his condition deteriorated quickly. He was provided supportive care until his passing.
Kovu arrived at the zoo in 2015; he was the second red panda at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Shared Lead Keeper Ray Bamrick said:
“Kovu was ‘Mr. Cool’ from the beginning; he was one of the most confident and friendly animals at the Zoo,”
“Kovu was here as a representative for his endangered wild cousins. He did such a wonderful job of raising excitement, awareness, and compassion.”
Red pandas can live up to 23 years in the wild, but their median lifespan in captivity is just 10 years.
Rest in peace Kovu.