Zoo solves panda death mystery
BANGKOK — When a giant panda died last month while on loan to Thailand’s Chiang Mai Zoo, millions of social media users in China demanded to know: “What killed Chuang Chuang?”
On Tuesday, they learned it was heart failure, according to a Chinese-assisted autopsy on the death of the 19-year-old, who had been on loan from China since 2003 with mate Lin Hui.
They were celebrities in Thailand, with media extensively covering their love life. Chuang Chuang’s relatively early demise sparked mourning among Thai fans and an outcry on Chinese social media, where a hashtag seeming to blame Thailand for the death was viewed 250 million times. Pandas generally live 14-20 years in the wild but can live up to 30 years in captivity. The Chiang Mai Zoo said any speculation in China that Chuang Chuang may have died due to careless feeding, neglect or even some kind of attack had proved unfounded.