Originally a temporary visitor while his habitat at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Mass., was undergoing renovations, Rochan became a permanent member of the Zoo family in October 2015. Rochan, which means “light,” “brilliant,” “celebrated” and “red lotus” in Hindi, was beloved by staff and guests alike, and immensely popular on the Zoo’s webcam that allowed the public to watch Rochan and his companion, Berry.
“Ro will be deeply missed by all of us here at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “He had a unique personality and related well both to his companion, Berry, and to his animal care staff. It has been our privilege to have known him for six years.”
The Zoo remains home to Berry, a female red panda who has been part of the Zoo family since 2020. The Natt Family Red Panda Habitat opened in October 2018, a gift from Bob and Helen Natt of Easton, also funded by monies raised by supporters and from the Werth Family Foundation. The Red panda habitat offers indoor and outdoor viewing access for the Red pandas with air-conditioned indoor living quarters and a yard landscaped with bamboo and plenty of treetop spots for sunbathing.
Rochan and Berry were part of the Species Survival Program (SSP), a breeding and management program designed to preserve the long-term sustainability of captive-based animal populations. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo will work with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan to identify a new companion for Berry.
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo appreciates the support it receives from local, regional and national media outlets. Media representatives are invited to tour