Rare panda dies at Turtle Back Zoo

April 29, 2008 5:08:27 AM PDT

Zoo officials are awaiting test results to determine why "Pemba," an 8-year-old male, died about two weeks ago.

Pemba arrived at the West Orange facility last July and was part of the zoo's Asian animal exhibit.

The panda -- which resembled a cross between a red fox and a raccoon -- is native to the Himalayas region.

The panda's normal life expectancy is 12 to 13 years in captivity, but the zoo's director says the pandas are prone to diseases similar to those affecting dogs and cats.


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