Giant panda Lin Hui, the 21-year-old star attraction at Chiang Mai Zoo in Thailand, has passed away on Wednesday morning after fainting suddenly the day before. China will dispatch a team of experts to Thailand as soon as possible and carry out a joint investigation with Thai experts into the cause of its death, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
The zoo announced that Lin Hui first showed unusual symptoms on Tuesday and was given a close examination, the Bangkok Post reported.
In a video taken by a tourist who visited the zoo on Tuesday, Lin Hui was seen lying feebly on the ground with blood stains on her nose and neck. She also seemed a bit nauseous, the tourist said in the video.
Upon learning the news of her faint, experts at the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda immediately reached the zoo to guide medical rescue efforts for the panda, but regrettably they were unable to save her life, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at Wednesday’s press briefing.
Lin Hui was born in China on September 28, 2001. She was sent to Chiang Mai Zoo on October 12, 2003 as a goodwill ambassador between the two countries. She was scheduled to return to China this year.
Under the loving care of Chinese and Thai professionals, she has brought much joy to the Thai public over the years and has played an active role in promoting China-Thai cooperation in giant panda conservation and civil exchange, Wang noted.
The Bangkok Post said Lin Hui was an instant star attraction for her great personality (panda type). More than 7.4 million visitors had dropped by the zoo since October 2003 to see Lin Hui and Chuang Chuang, the two giant pandas on loan from China, according to the zoo director.
The male panda Chuang Chuang died at Chiang Mai Zoo in 2019 at the age of 19 due to heart failure.
Giant pandas normally have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years in the wild, and up to 30 years in captivity.