Zoo Atlanta Mourns the Loss of Ruby, a Beloved Red Panda

March 9, 2024
1 min read
Zoo Atlanta Mourns the Loss of Ruby, a Beloved Red Panda

Zoo Atlanta is mourning the loss of Ruby, a cherished female red panda, who was found deceased by her care team on March 8. Although the immediate cause of her death remains uncertain, initial necropsy results suggest a mesenteric torsion, a critical condition involving the intestines. Further analyses are pending in collaboration with the University of Georgia’s Zoo and Exotic Animal Pathology Service to uncover additional details.

Ruby, alongside her sister Rose, had been a part of the Zoo Atlanta family since their arrival from another Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited facility in February 2023. Sam Rivera, DVM and Vice President of Animal Health at Zoo Atlanta, expressed the profound impact of Ruby’s loss on the team, emphasizing their dedication to animal care and the hope that forthcoming pathology results will provide clarity on her condition.

Ruby’s death also casts a spotlight on red pandas, a species distinct from their giant panda counterparts, known for their striking red fur and arboreal lifestyle. The Himalayan subspecies, to which Ruby belonged, hails from regions including Nepal, Bhutan, and parts of India, and faces threats from habitat loss, poaching, and illegal trafficking.

Zoo Atlanta is actively engaged in red panda conservation, supporting initiatives like the Red Panda Network’s reforestation efforts in Nepal through its Mabel Dorn Reeder Conservation Endowment Fund, emphasizing its commitment to biodiversity preservation.

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