It was supposed to be a light and fun press conference at the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park yesterday. It took a turn for the worse when it was announced that the zoo suddenly lost their adult red panda, Xiao-Li.

Yesterday morning at 10 o'clock a press conference had been called to announce the departure of Zhin-Li to the Erie Zoo. Zhin-Li is the son of Xiao-Li. Xiao-Li was born in June 2008 at the Nashville Zoo and came to Binghamton in December 2011 to pair up with their female, Mei-Li.

The cause of death is unknown at this time, and a necropsy is being performed at Cornell University where the animal was transported yesterday. Xiao-Li had displayed symptoms of lymphoma in 2012 and appeared to have made a full recovery. Xiao’s passing is not related to the recent temperature drop, as the red panda facility is temperature controlled.

Due to yesterdays event, the transportation of Zhin-Li will be put on hold for now. Zhin-Li was born on June 18, 2013 as part of the Species Survival Plan set up by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

The cub, now six and a half months old and a solid 4 kilograms, is almost full grown and is ready to leave his mother. In Erie, Zhin-Li will be matched with another red panda to enhance the gene pool in the Species Survival Plan.

The plan is still to move Zhin-Li to Erie at a later date. Binghamton Zoo will continue with updates and thanks the community for your support during this difficult time.