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Memphis Zoo giant panda ‘Le Le' cause of death revealed

WHNT-TV Huntsville 3/7/2023 Lawrencia Grose
Memphis Zoo giant panda ‘Le Le' cause of death revealed © Provided by WHNT-TV Huntsville Memphis Zoo giant panda ‘Le Le' cause of death revealed

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Zoo has revealed the cause of death of Le Le, the giant panda that passed away last month.

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According to Rebecca Winchester, the zoo’s communications specialist, Le Le died of heart disease.

In a statement, Winchester stated, “We are patiently waiting for the final pathology report to confirm preliminary findings. The anatomical exam by the team of Memphis Zoo and Chinese experts does indicate that it was heart disease, but our experts will be able to speak more to that once the final report is in hand.”

The zoo says they are working diligently with partners from the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens on planning her smooth transfer to Beijing Zoological Gardens, where Le Le was born. 

Le Le was born July 18, 1998, and was 25 years old at the time of his passing. He came to Memphis Zoo in 2003. 

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"He was easy going, playful and beautiful representation of his species," said Matt Thompson, CEO of the Memphis Zoo. "It's never easy to lose any of the animals. As many animals, as we have, we go through this on regular basis, but Le Le and Ya Ya are special for many reasons."

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