Farewell Mei Mei: Marwell Zoo mourns loss of female red panda

270223-red panda mei mei- jason brown
Mei Mei came to Marwell Zoo in 2014. Credit: Jason Brown

A zoo is mourning the loss of a female red panda described as a "firm favourite" among visitors.

Staff at Marwell Zoo made the decision to euthanise Mei Mei on Monday (27 February), following a period of illness.

They said Mei Mei, who was nine years old, started to show signs of illness last week and vets had to make the call after she continued to show signs of discomfort.

Born at Welsh Mountain Zoo in 2013, Mei Mei arrived at Marwell in 2014.

Mei Mei was a 'firm favourite' among visitors to the zoo. Credit: Jason Brown

Staff say she had been a "firm favourite" amongst guests young and old which they say is thanks to her "endearing looks and personality".

The news follows the unrelated death of her male companion, Peter, in October 2022.

As a result of both Mei Mei and Peter's deaths, Marwell is temporarily without red pandas.

However the zoo plans to bring this species back into the park as soon as possible after the current movement restrictions, due to the recent Avian Influenza outbreak, are lifted.