Legendary giant panda Lei Lei died at the age of 31 due to epileptic seizure on Wednesday, the China Giant Panda Conservation and Research Center announced on Thursday night through Sina Weibo.
The center disclosed that Lei Lei had her first epileptic seizure in late June and its frequency increased in mid-August. Lei Lei could not do her exercise activities and became weaker since September, and had difficulties in eating without assistance from caretakers.
Despite special treatment and care from veterinarians and keepers at the center, Lei Lei died from respiratory and circulatory failure caused by epileptic seizure.
Lei Lei was found and rescued in 1992 from Liangshan Prefecture in Southwest China's Sichuan Province. Her forefoot was seriously injured when found in the wild and needed to be amputated later. However, she went on to live strongly and nurtured five cubs from 2000 to 2005.
Lei Lei, known as the "heroic mother," gave birth to Yuan Yuan, a panda that was later gifted to the island of Taiwan. Most of her children have already raised their own babies, which means Lei Lei can be called a "heroic grandmother" as well.
Some Chinese internet users mourned Lei Lei's death on Weibo, posting candle emoji in comment zones.
"She has experienced such a long and colorful life; hope everything goes well for her in Heaven,"said a Weibo user.