Hogle Zoo mourns death of Priya, a red panda

Dec 2, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: Dec 4, 2023, 10:06 am

Priya, a red panda, passed away on November 28, 2023...

Priya, a red panda, passed away on November 28, 2023 (Utah's Hogle Zoo)

(Utah's Hogle Zoo)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Hogle Zoo announced the passing of Priya, a five-year-old female red panda. She passed on November 28, 2023.

This news comes after the zoo had placed her on veterinary advisement, after which, her condition became critical over the next few days. 

In a collaborative effort between Hogle Zoo and Advanced Veterinary Care (AVC), Priya was transferred to the intensive care unit, where a dedicated team worked around the clock to provide critical care and treatments.

Despite efforts, Priya’s health continued to decline until she passed.

According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, red pandas can live until the age of 23, however most start showing aging at the age of 12. Further testing is underway to determine the precise cause of Priya’s death.

Remembering Priya the red panda

Priya arrived at Hogle Zoo in 2022 from Pueblo Zoo, following a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Red Panda Species Survival Plan. She played a crucial role in the conservation efforts for her endangered species.

Priya was a nurturing mother to the zoo’s first red panda cub, Dorji, born on June 23, 2023. Dorji is five months old and thriving. He has been fully weaned and can often be seen enjoying a diet of biscuits and bamboo.

The birth of Dorji exemplifies the importance of each new addition to the endangered red panda population. He is contributing to the ongoing efforts to secure a future for the species.

Priya’s legacy as an excellent ambassador for her species will endure. She emphasizes the critical role zoos play in safeguarding endangered animals and fostering opportunities for future generations. Hogle Zoo remains committed to the well-being and conservation of its animal residents, as it continues to honor Priya’s memory.

Related: Elephants from Utah’s Hogle Zoo arrive at new Kansas City home

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Hogle Zoo mourns death of Priya, a red panda