Big panda Le Le has died, the Memphis Zoo introduced Friday.
The panda, born July 18, 1998, died Wednesday, zoo spokesperson Rebecca Winchester stated in an e-mail. His explanation for demise has but to be decided as a medical investigation is pending, the zoo stated.
“Le Le’s name translates to ‘happy happy,’ and his name perfectly reflected his personality,” the zoo stated in an announcement. “Le Le was a happy bear that enjoyed apples, engaging with enrichment and relaxing while covering himself with freshly shredded bamboo. He had an easy-going personality and was a favorite of all who met and worked with him over the years.”
Le Le’s peaceable demise as he slept was “sudden and unexpected” with no indication that he was sick, zoo President and CEO Matt Thompson stated at a information convention Friday. Nothing in video footage from the times main as much as Le Le’s demise indicated that there was something fallacious with him, he stated.
Le Le had been on the zoo since 2003 and was anticipated to return to China quickly with feminine panda Ya Ya as a mortgage settlement ended with the Chinese language Affiliation of Zoological Gardens.
Advocacy teams In Protection of Animals and Panda Voices raised issues concerning the pandas’ circumstances prior to now and applauded the animals’ deliberate return to China. In latest days, Panda Voices members watching the panda cam noticed Le Le collapse and once they tried to get details about his situation, they had been advised there have been no identified well being points, in line with Tom Clemenson, the group’s U.S. spokesman.
“We are absolutely devastated,” Clemenson stated. “Our fight continues. We will investigate as best we can.”
When requested about these allegations, Thompson, who referred to Le Le and Ya Ya as “two of the most spoiled animals on the planet,” stated the teams had made false accusations through the years. Days earlier than the panda’s demise, there have been a few hours when he was not consuming nicely, maybe resulting from a abdomen upset, but it surely did not proceed and he was “completely normal” a short while after, Senior Veterinarian Felicia Knightly stated. Specialists from the U.S. and China will full a autopsy examination, she stated.
The life expectancy of a large panda within the wild is about 15 years, however in captivity they’ve lived to be as previous as 38. Many years of conservation efforts within the wild and research in captivity saved the large panda from extinction, growing its inhabitants from fewer than 1,000 at one time to greater than 1,800 within the wild and captivity.