An An

23rd June 2009 – 14th June 2024

People say that you shouldn’t work with animals or children, but we know that working with both can be one of the most rewarding roles! Our Animal Care Team are dedicated to providing our animals with the highest standard of care and over the years, build individual relationships with those that they look after. One of the hardest jobs is not working with animals, but having to say goodbye to them when the time comes.

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved male red panda, An An, on 14th June 2024 at the age of 14.

An An was under veterinary supervision for a known condition. In the last few days, his condition deteriorated and after receiving additional treatment, the decision was made to put him to sleep in the interest of his welfare.

An An was born 23rd June 2009 at Municipal Zoological Garden in Warsaw, Poland and arrived here in May 2010. Whilst his passing leaves a devastating hole in our hearts, the team are comforted knowing that An An spent most of his life being cared for here at Colchster Zoo, and has left behind an ever lasting legacy.

Female red panda, Liwei, joined An An in May 2012 and their love grew for one another resulting in their first litter of twin girls in June 2013. They successfully bred again having another single female offspring in 2018 followed by another set of twin girls in 2019. 

Since his time at Colchester Zoo, An An sired a total of five female cubs, who have since joined other zoos and had families of their own, a total of six grand cubs! At the beginning of June, An An also became a great grandfather!

‘I’ve had the pleasure of working with An An since he arrived at Colchester Zoo in May 2010, from Warsaw Zoo in Poland. As expected, it took him a while to trust his new keepers but once he did, he was quite the character! An An will be missed by all past and present Carnivore keepers that had the opportunity to care for him.’

Emma, Team Leader of Carnivore Section, Colchester Zoo

An An’s passing now leaves one female red panda at Colchester Zoo, Liwei. It is hoped that there will be further opportunities in the future to breed this endangered species again but for now, Liwei, will remain in her habitat at River’s Edge. Red pandas are solitary creatures and only come together for the mating season however she will be monitored closely over the next few weeks. 

Red pandas are currently listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. An An has been a great ambassador for his wild cousins and has helped to educate the importance of protecting this species out in the wild.

Colchester Zoo’s charitable arm has helped to support red pandas out in the wild since 2014, donating vital funds towards the Red Panda Network. These funds have helped provide Forest Guardians Nepal. Forest guardians hold the key to the future of the red panda as they work within their respective communities to create a Community Forest Network. Forest guardians are trained as professional forest stewards and local conservation ambassadors who conduct regular monitoring of red panda populations and habitat, as well as awareness-building activities. 

The rainbow bridge has gained a very special red panda, An An will always hold a special place in the hearts of many.

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