Red panda at River Safari dies from gut infection

Poonya the Red Panda had been suffering from gut infection and was under treatment since Jan 7, 2016.
Poonya the Red Panda had been suffering from gut infection and was under treatment since Jan 7, 2016.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Poonya, River Safari's five-year-old female red panda, has died.

Poonya had been suffering from a gut infection and was under treatment since Jan 7, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said on Friday (Jan 15).

Despite keepers and vets providing 24-hour intensive care, her condition deteriorated. The red panda died at 1am on Wednesday (Jan 13). She was five years old.

The red panda’s lifespan is between 10 to 14 years in captivity, WRS said, adding that a post-mortem will be conducted on Poonya.

Poonya arrived at River Safari in 2012, along with a male red panda named Puska from Johannesburg Zoo, South Africa.

"With Poonya’s passing, we have two male red pandas left in our collection," said a spokesman from WRS.

The park hopes to bring in another female panda.

The red panda shares a similar diet and habitat as the giant panda, but is more closely related to raccoons and weasels instead of bears.

The red panda, also known as a firefox, is an endangered species, and there are less than 10,000 in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

River Safari is a member of the World Zoos and Aquariums Association's Global Species Management Plan for red pandas.