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Pueblo Zoo mourns death of red panda with heart condition

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Posted at 10:40 AM, May 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-12 12:40:43-04

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — The Pueblo Zoo is mourning the loss of a red panda that unexpectedly died of a heart condition.

Zoo spokesman Adam Davidson said Thursday that the panda named Phi died of cardiomyopathy, a disease that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body. He says as many as one in three red pandas has the condition.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports red pandas are exceptionally good at masking illness, so symptoms are challenging, if not impossible, to notice. The ability may serve them in the wild to avoid looking weak to predators.

The zoo still has three red pandas on display.