Red panda who moved from Detroit Zoo to Omaha in 2017 dies of heart failure


A red panda who once called the Detroit Zoo home has passed away suddenly at the age of three.

Tofu, a female red panda who moved from the Detroit Zoo to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo in 2017, has passed away, according to the zoo:

It’s with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Tofu, a three-year-old female red panda, on Tuesday, July 31. 

Tofu came to us from the Detroit Zoo in October 2017. She was moved into the Cat Complex in January until she was introduced to her habitat in Asian Highlands in May.

A necropsy was performed yesterday by the Zoo’s Board Certified Veterinary Anatomic Pathologist, Dr. Alison Righton. 

According to the preliminary necropsy results, Tofu had excess fluid in her abdomen as well as her chest cavity, a finding that is most commonly observed in cases of heart failure or cardiomyopathy. Another potential cause of death includes inflammation of the heart from bacterial or viral causes, which will be tested through a histopathology performed by Dr. Righton.

Heart failure and cardiomyopathy are population-wide health issues within the red panda species. Currently, little is known about the predisposing causes of these complications.

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