World’s old­est cap­tive panda dies at 37

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA -

The world’s old­est panda in cap­tiv­ity died at the age of 37 in East China’s Fu­jian Prov­ince on Wed­nes­day.

The age is equiv­a­lent to 100 years for hu­mans.

Chen Yu­cun, di­rec­tor of the Straits Gi­ant Panda Re­search and Ex­change Cen­ter in Fuzhou, cap­i­tal of Fu­jian, said Basi died of mul­ti­ple ill­nesses, in­clud­ing liver cir­rho­sis and re­nal fail­ure, said the Xin­hua News Agency.

Basi was born in 1980 in Baox­ing County, South­west China’s Sichuan Prov­ince. Chi­nese peo­ple con­sid­ered her a celebrity and she was the pro­to­type for the mas­cot Pan­pan of the 1990 Bei­jing Asian Games.

She died at 8:50 am on Septem­ber 13 at the Straits Gi­ant Panda Re­search and Ex­change Cen­ter, fa­cil­ity of­fi­cials said.

“Los­ing Basi is one of the things that both­ers me most,” Chen Yu­cun, head of the fa­cil­ity, tear­fully told China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion, adding that he did not go home for a month be­cause he was at­tend­ing to Basi.

A special team of 20 spe­cial­ists was as­signed to take care of Basi when her health be­gan to de­te­ri­o­rate on June 8.

Basi cel­e­brated her 37th birth­day in Jan­uary. In Au­gust, the Guin­ness World Records con­firmed her as the world’s old­est liv­ing cap­tive panda, said Xin­hua.

The av­er­age life­span of wild pan­das is 15 years, said Xin­hua, but those in cap­tiv­ity usu­ally live longer due to bet­ter nutri­tion and liv­ing con­di­tions.

The num­ber of pan­das liv­ing in the wild was fewer than 2,000, and around 400 were liv­ing in cap­tiv­ity as of the end of 2013, ac­cord­ing to data from China’s State Forestry Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

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