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Red panda at Pittsburgh Zoo dies

Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium mourns beloved red panda
Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium mourns beloved red panda 00:18

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A red panda at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium died. 

The zoo said Kovu, its male red panda, died Sunday. He began displaying unusual behavior on Friday and was taken to the zoo's veterinary hospital for an examination and treatment. While his health declined quickly, the zoo said he received supportive care until he died. 

He was 9 years old. The zoo said red pandas have a median life expectancy of 10 years in zoos. He arrived in Pittsburgh in 2015 from Columbus. 

"Kovu was 'Mr. Cool' from the beginning; he was one of the most confident and friendly animals at the Zoo," lead keeper Ray Bamrick said in a press release.

Red pandas are native to the Himalayan Mountain range and are threatened in their native bamboo forests because of habitat loss, the zoo said. 

Kovu's mate Xia will continue to greet visitors and will get wellness checks from the animal care team.

"Kovu will be missed by visitors and Zoo staff alike. We appreciate the support of the community and encourage our guests to share photos and fond memories of their experiences with Kovu on our social media pages," the zoo said. 

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