Beckie, a red panda at the Sacramento Zoo, was euthanized Thursday after two years of treatment for liver disease.
Beckie was 16.
At the time of her death, she was two weeks shy of her 17th birthday.
“While the loss of Beckie is difficult, her life is one that should be celebrated,” said Amanda Watters, the zoo’s chief carnivore zookeeper. “She was well loved by staff and considered our supermodel red panda.”
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Beckie had been undergoing treatment for liver disease for two years. Her condition took a turn for the worse during the last six weeks as she became anemic. An ultrasound exam revealed damage to her liver and spleen. After discussing her quality of life, zoo staff decided to euthanize Beckie.
UC Davis will conduct a complete necropsy, according to a zoo news release.
With Beckie’s death, 19-year-old Jane is the sole red panda on exhibit, zoo staff said.
“Beckie was very old for a red panda and the zookeepers and veterinarians took excellent and special care with all her geriatric needs,” said Leslie Field, the zoo’s supervisor of mammals. “She was a sweet red panda and lived her last years with other, older red pandas.”
Beckie was born June 8, 1999, at the National Zoo. She has lived at the Sacramento since 2006.
Native to eastern Asia, including Nepal, Burma, Tibet and south-central China, red pandas are mostly solitary, small carnivores, whose markings mimic the reddish-brown tree trunks of their habitats. Endangered in the wild, they are also known as a “fire fox” or “bamboo cat.”