A 12-year-old male red panda living at the Henry Vilas Zoo died this weekend, according to the Dane County Executive’s Office.
Chang Tan was at the zoo since 2007 and was the first red panda to be exhibited in the renovated Children’s Zoo.
“Chang’s presence here at Henry Vilas Zoo brought awareness to a charismatic species threatened by habitat loss and human activities. This awareness has allowed us to support organizations that benefit wild red pandas. Chang has truly been an ambassador for his wild relatives,” said red panda keeper Jennifer Zuehlke.
Chang Tan lived past his life expectancy but had battled health problems. Zoo staff made the decision to humanely euthanize him on Saturday.
A breeding pair of red pandas still lives at the zoo.