ROTTERDAM, Netherlands – The Rotterdam Zoo regretted to inform the public that their featured panda passed away earlier today at the age of 9. More commonly know by visitors as “Sad Panda” for his mopey appearance, Edwin the panda was one of the zoo’s most popular, if less talked about, attractions.
Dutch zookeepers stated that they are uncertain as for the exact cause of Edwin’s untimely death. The panda started showing signs of poor health with little warning before passing away just 12 hours later. Some have proposed that stress might have been the cause for the panda’s rapid decline in health, though nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
Fans of Edwin were shocked and expressed their remorse at the sudden loss of their favorite panda. With the news being so sudden, many were unable to get the opportunity to visit the animal one last time.
“I am just so saddened that I am beyond words,” stated one visitor who wished to remain anonymous. “I would come and visit Sad Panda nearly every day. He was such a large part of my life for so many years. I don’t know what I’m even going to do now.”
Fans were seen leaving flowers and letters by the panda’s now empty enclosure, testament to the impact that the animal had on the lives of so many. A few visitors were witnessed visibly in tears as the realization hit that Edwin was no longer with them.
“There was something special about him, that’s for sure,” recalled zookeeper Jeroen Visser. “People would come from all over just to see him. I guess you could say he had something that no one else had.”
While there have been some initial talks about acquiring a replacement, most have agreed that there is no real replacement for the Sad Panda. Edwin’s sibling, Eelis, now remains the only panda left living at the Rotterdam Zoo. While not as renowned as his brother, zookeepers are hoping that Eelis will continue to be there for years to come.