CHIANG MAI – Chiang Mai zoo has sadly announced the death of their eldest Giant Panda Xuang Xuang. Footage of CCTV showed it ate bamboo leaves, walked and then collapsed.
Xuang Xuang celebrated its 18th birthday on Aug 6th. The male panda was born in 2000 at a panda research and development facility in Wo Long town of Chengdu province.
Chiang Mai zoo chief Wutthichai Muangmun said they believe Xuang Xuang died of natural causes. He said the Chinese consulate-general has also been informed about Xuang Xuang death.
Veterinarians are looking for the cause of the death, a press conference on Tuesday he told the Bangkok Post.
Xuang Xuang was a gift from the Chinese government to Thailand to demonstrate close relations between the two countries. It arrived in Chiang Mai with Lin Hui, a female panda, in October 2003, from Chengdu.
Its Thai name was Tewan and the Lanna name was Kham Ai but the animal was best known by the Chinese name.
Xuang Xuang and Lin Hui had been popular among Thais since they were brought to Chiang Mai and were a highlight of the zoo for animal lovers.
The two pandas were loaned to Thailand by the Chinese government. Beijing never gives pandas to any country but allows those with close ties to have them as a loaned gift.