Zoo Atlanta's red panda dies suddenly

Updated:

ATLANTA —

Zoo Atlanta said it’s 12-year-old red panda has died from a sudden illness.

In a news release, the zoo said Shandy became ill on Monday, and died overnight while being treated at the zoo’s veterinary hospital.

“We had been treating Shandy since the onset of her symptoms yesterday, but unfortunately she passed before we were able to discern the root cause of her illness,” said Hayley Murphy, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services. “It’s always disheartening to lose any animal, but Shandy was one-of-a-kind and a special favorite among many of our staff, Members and guests.”

The zoo said they have not yet identified the specific problem that caused Shandy’s death.

Shandy was born at the Knoxville Zoo and came to Zoo Atlanta in 2008. The average lifespan for red pandas is 13 to 14 years.

Zoo Atlanta said it will perform a necropsy.