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Fan favorite at Idaho Falls Zoo dies

Marvin 3
Marvin 2
Marvin 4

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – Marvin, the Red Panda, passed away on Wednesday.

He quickly rose to fame as the first Red Panda born at the zoo. But shortly after entering the world in 2019, his mother neglected to care for him. So zoo officials flew him out to Zoo Knoxville to be raised by animal care experts with other Red Pandas. He thrived under the Association of Zoo’s and Aquariums red panda Species Survival Plan, and even found love. Linda became his lifelong mate.

They returned to Idaho Falls in early 2021 and started a family. We welcomed Saffron and Paprika to our community that July.

On the zoo Facebook page, his caretakers expressed their appreciation of Marvin’s life among us. The post goes on to say “We sure hope you all enjoyed getting to know him as much as we have. While we take this time to mourn his loss we are also grateful for the time he spent with us and his contribution to the species survival as a whole.”

According to the Smithsonian Zoo, Red pandas normally live in high-altitude, temperate forests with bamboo understories in the Himalayas and other high mountains. They range from northern Myanmar (Burma) to the west Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces of China. 

But they are endangered and legally protected in India, Bhutan, China, Nepal and Myanmar. Their primary threats are habitat loss and degradation, human interference and poaching.

Idaho Zoo officials say a necropsy was performed on the 2-year old, but no obvious cause of death was found. Tissue samples were collected and sent off for further study. They are waiting on any more information, and promise to keep us updated.  

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