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Red panda passes away at Miller Park Zoo

Burma (pictured here) has a surviving sister red panda who remains part of the species survival plan.
Seasonal Zookeeper Maya Cain
Miller Park Zoo
Burma has a surviving sister red panda that remains part of the species survival plan.

One of the red pandas at the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington has died.

The zoo had two red pandas — a male and female, both born at the zoo. The male, named Burma, died overnight Sunday. He had been ill.

Bloodwork showed Burma had health issues involving his adrenal glands, similar to Addison's disease in dogs. He had been receiving treatment. This type of condition renders an individual susceptible to external stress.

“Adrenal issues can result in other internal system failures, including cardiac events,” the zoo said in a statement.

A keeper described Burma's personality as “grumpy and impatient,” always wanting his favorite bamboo and chunks of apple handed to him.

Burma and his sister, “China,” are part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan [SSP] for red pandas.

“China will remain in her habitat at the zoo, under close observation from her professional caregivers,” said the zoo. “She is still included in the SSP population management program, and we will await future decisions on potential reproductive pairings for her.”

To learn more about red pandas visit the Red Panda Network.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.