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Potter Park Zoo Mourns Loss of Red Panda

Date: 
December 5th, 2011

 

Potter Park Zoo is saddened to announce the death of Harley, a 10-year old male red panda.
“The red pandas are very charming and a favorite among our guests,” says Zoo Director Gerry Brady.
Harley came to Potter Park Zoo in November 2009 after a recommendation by the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP) to transfer him from Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, IL. The SSP keeps records of all animals in captivity and advises zoos on breeding plans to perpetuate each species. Harley was believed to be a good genetic match for Daisy, a 5-year old female red panda. Harley quickly became ill last week and went into surgery on Thursday, December 1. Unfortunately, he did not survive through the procedure.
“Harley suffered from gastric torsion, which is a condition in which the stomach twists and becomes overstretched by excessive gas,” explains Dr. Tara Harrison, veterinarian at Potter Park Zoo. “This is common among dogs and other deep-chested animals. It is thought to be uncommon in red pandas, though research on the species is fairly new so this is a unique case.”
Potter Park Zoo is eager for the arrival of a new female red panda on Wednesday, December 7 from Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska. Daisy, Potter Park Zoo’s former female red panda, was shipped to Denver Zoo last week and arrived there safely. Both of these transfers are a result of recommendations by the Red Panda SSP, and the SSP will likely recommend a male red panda transfer to Potter Park Zoo in the near future.

Potter Park Zoo is saddened to announce the death of Harley, a 10-year old male red panda.

“The red pandas are very charming and a favorite among our guests,” says Zoo Director Gerry Brady.

Harley came to Potter Park Zoo in November 2009 after a recommendation by the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP) to transfer him from Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, IL. The SSP keeps records of all animals in captivity and advises zoos on breeding plans to perpetuate each species. Harley was believed to be a good genetic match for Daisy, a 5-year old female red panda. Harley quickly became ill last week and went into surgery on Thursday, December 1. Unfortunately, he did not survive through the procedure.

“Harley suffered from gastric torsion, which is a condition in which the stomach twists and becomes overstretched by excessive gas,” explains Dr. Tara Harrison, veterinarian at Potter Park Zoo. “This is common among dogs and other deep-chested animals. It is thought to be uncommon in red pandas, though research on the species is fairly new so this is a unique case.”

Potter Park Zoo is eager for the arrival of a new female red panda on Wednesday, December 7 from Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska. Daisy, Potter Park Zoo’s former female red panda, was shipped to Denver Zoo last week and arrived there safely. Both of these transfers are a result of recommendations by the Red Panda SSP, and the SSP will likely recommend a male red panda transfer to Potter Park Zoo in the near future.

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