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Red panda cub dies at Sacramento Zoo after contracting pneumonia

The red panda cub born at the Sacramento Zoo in late June died Monday morning after contracting pneumonia, the zoo shared in an online post. The female cub was 3 weeks old and had not yet been named.

Zoo staff took over complete care of the cub shortly after its birth, because its 7-year-old mother, Pili, began to exhibit neglectful behavior.

The cub survived an early scare of hypothermia but developed a bad case of pneumonia last week.

Despite receiving antibiotics, fluid therapy, oxygen, tailored nursing care and feedings to supplement its nutritional intake, the cub died in a neonatal incubator Monday morning.

According to the post, “Veterinary and zookeeper staff worked tirelessly around-the-clock to provide the cub the best possible care.”

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine will perform a necropsy on the panda to determine the exact cause of death.

Red pandas are an endangered species with a notoriously perilous early life. About 50 percent of red panda cubs die before they turn 1 month old, the news release said.

The species is native to Eastern Asia, including countries like Nepal, Myanmar and Tibet.

Since 1999, the Sacramento Zoo has been part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, which attempts to “ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied” population of the species.

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