CHIANG MAI -Panda experts from China have begun preparing for an autopsy of beloved giant panda Chuang Chuang. The Gian Panda died unexpectedly this week at the Chiang Mai Zoo, while on loan from China.
Chiang Mai Zoo officials said there were no signs that Chuang Chuang was suffering health problems before his death. Pandas generally live 14-20 years in the wild but can live up to 30 years in captivity.
The autopsy of the giant panda will take about seven days and then Chuang Chuang’s body would be flown to China.
“A working team of Chinese and Thai officials has been formed to conduct the autopsy,” the Zoo on Thursday said.
Should the Thailand’s Last Panda, Lin Hui be Returned to China
Chinese officials were also discussing whether Chuang Chuang’s mate, Lin Hui should be returned to China.
“For Lin Hui, I understand that there are some concerns about her being alone and her loneliness. We have to talk about this later,” said Ren Yisheng, the Chinese Consul General in Chiang Mai.
The panda pair, on loan from China since 2003, were celebrities in Thailand after Lin Hui gave birth in 2009. Baby pandas are rarely born in captivity and the baby Panda was eventually returned to China.
Lin Hui conceived through artificial insemination after Chuang Chuang failed to impregnate her. Even despite being shown videos dubbed “panda porn” meant to encourage them to mate. Pandas are famously difficult to breed in captivity.
Thai and Tourists Expressed Sorrow for the Giant Panda’s Death
“I felt sad once I knew about his death. Today, when I saw the area where he used to stay make me feel horrible,” said visitor Kanchana Anatasomboon.
Supatra Saraneeyatham, on his first visit to Chiang Mai, said; “I’m here with my sister and she almost cried once we saw Lin Hui alone inside.”
Meanwhile, The death of 19-year-old Panda sparked an outcry on Chinese social media. Hashtag seeming to #blame Thailand was viewed 250 million times.
Chinese netizens took to social media to demand Lin Hui, the last Panda in Thailand be returned to China.
On Weibo, a social media user said Thailand is “not suitable for raising pandas”; while another said that Thais “do not treat animals as well as we think”, the BBC reported.
One widely shared image, whose source is still unidentified; claims to show Xuang Xuang being fed hard bamboo stems instead of bamboo leaves; sparking further uproar among Chinese netizens. Who then demanded the remaining panda at Chiang Mai Zoo be returned to China.
Source: Bangkok Post, Reuters