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ZooMontana Red Panda honored as World’s Oldest before saying goodbye

Posted at 9:58 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 23:58:34-04

BILLINGS — On February 27th, 2020, ZooMontana was honored for housing the world’s oldest Red Panda.

Taylor was one of four Red Pandas that called ZooMontana home. At the time of the record, he was 22 years old, 14 years older than his typical age range.

Through extensive research and proof from ZooMontana, Guinness World Records confirmed the honor and presented the Zoo with an official certificate of the record.

One day prior to the announcement of the record, Taylor passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, March 10th.

ZooMontana’s Executive Director, Jeff Ewelt, said he was devastated by the loss.

“All of us at ZooMontana are saddened by the loss of Taylor. He has been a staple within our organization; an animal many of our staff have bonded with. Although these losses are never easy, we are honored that Taylor’s legacy will forever remain in the record books thanks to generosity of Guinness World Records. His 22 wonderful years will remain in our memories and in our stories for generations to come,” he said.

Zoo staff said necropsy results showed no major issues and that the death was caused by natural causes.

According to Zookeepers, Taylor was slowing down and blind. He was able to navigate his habitat quite well thanks to both his sense of smell and partner Zoe’s willingness to guide him.

Zoe the Red Panda is also aging, but is a much younger 18. The oldest Red Panda ever to live died at the age of 24, making Taylor the oldest living at the time of the record.