Henry Vilas Zoo red panda passes away - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Henry Vilas Zoo red panda passes away

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A 12-year-old male red panda named Chang Tan passed away at the Henry Vilas Zoo this weekend, according to Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

Chang Tan has been at the zoo since 2007 and was the first red panda to be exhibited in the renovated Children's Zoo.

"Chang Tan was a unique animal that won the hearts of so many people. He will truly be missed by the staff of the zoo and the countless visitors who came to see him every year," said Parisi.  

The red panda was a staff favorite. Dane County officials say he was known for his laid-back personality and artistic ability as one of the zoo's resident painters.

Chang Tan battled health problems in the last several years but was able to live well past his life expectancy. On Saturday, zoo staff had to euthanize him. They plan on learning more about his illness through a post-mortem examination.

Henry Vilas Zoo also houses a breeding pair of red pandas, which can be seen on exhibit every day from 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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