Drusillas Park's rehomed red panda Qui dies

Qui the red panda
Image caption Qui was in a quarantine enclosure at Drusillas Park when she died

A red panda which was recently moved from France to a zoo in Sussex has died unexpectedly.

The female panda, named Qui, arrived at Drusillas Park in Alfriston from Les Sables Zoo in Vendee in September.

She was undergoing the required six months quarantine in an enclosure out of public view and was due to go on show in April.

Keepers at Drusillas said they were at a loss to explain the death and post-mortem tests failed to show a cause.

Zoo director Laurence Smith said: "We are incredibly sad for the loss of our beautiful red panda. In the short time that she was with us, Qiu proved to be a sweet natured, friendly animal who was very inquisitive.

"The unexpected and unexplained nature of her departure has been a real shock to the whole zoo."

In November, staff at the zoo appealed to the public to help to feed Qui after a shipment of bamboo from Italy was delayed and they were running low on food for the panda.

Drusillas was then "inundated" with offers of help, receiving more than 100 phone calls and emails from the local community and abroad.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites