One of the most popular animals at Roger Williams Park Zoo has passed away, leaving zoo staff and guests extremely saddened. Sha-Lei, the zoo's 13-year-old female red panda, had to be humanly euthanized after her quality of life sharply declined.

The zoo shared the news this morning on their Facebook page, letting the public know that Sha-Lei had been battling heart failure for quite some time. She had been getting treatment from the veterinary department as well as her keepers and was doing well until recently.

Sha-Lei at 13 was considered an elderly red panda and the fact that she exceeded the life expectancy that cardiac specialists provided her is a testament to the wonderful treatment she was provided at Roger Williams Park Zoo.

Sadly, her health took a turn and when her quality of life quickly declined, zoo staff made the heartbreaking decision to humanly euthanize her.

As a frequent zoo visitor with my young daughters, I know this loss will be felt by so many. The red pandas always delight guests both young and old and even when they are simply lying around napping, there is always a crowd eager to watch them.

Roger Williams Park Zoo & Carousel Village via Facebook
Roger Williams Park Zoo & Carousel Village via Facebook

Sha-Lei's male companion, Rusty, is also considered an elderly red panda and though he continues to do well in his advanced age, zoo staff will undoubtedly be paying special attention to his health in the coming weeks.

As the zoo posted on social media, "The Zoo family will hold a very special place in its heart for Sha-Lei and she will be deeply missed. We encourage people to share photos and fond memories of Sha-Lei so that her keepers may see your remembrances and kind words."

So if you have any special memories of visiting Sha-Lei at Roger Williams Park Zoo please share them on the zoo's Facebook page.

20 Things To See at Roger Williams Park (Other Than the Zoo)

There are over 427 acres of beautiful landscaping, historical buildings and family friendly spaces at Roger Williams Park in Providence. Gifted to the city in 1872 by the last descendant of Roger Williams, Betsey Williams, the park has become primarily known for its amazing zoo. But throughout this historic district listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, there are plenty of other stunning things to see.

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