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Fan favorite panda passes away at Idaho Falls Zoo


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IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho Falls Zoo announced this week that their first red panda that was born at the zoo in 2019, has passed away.

A city spokesman told Friday that Marvin, a male red panda, was two-years-old and died on Dec. 15. A necropsy was performed on Marvin but no obvious cause of death was found. According to the zoo, tissue samples were collected and sent off for further study.

A Facebook post made by the zoo said that Marvin instantly became a zoo favorite.

At one point, Marvin had to be flown to Zoo Knoxville in Tennessee and be raised by animal care experts with other red pandas after his mother neglected to care for him after he was born. It was there at Zoo Knoxville that Marvin was paired with his mate, Linda.

The two pandas came back to the Idaho Falls Zoo in early 2021 and a few months later, Marvin and Linda had two cubs in July 2021.

The Idaho Falls Zoo Facebook post stated, “We are all feeling the loss of Marvin, a beloved friend of the community and, let’s be honest, a staff favorite. 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.”

Marvin, the red panda. | Courtesy Idaho Falls Zoo
Courtesy Idaho Falls Zoo