Chiang Mai’s famous giant panda turns 21 years old

Giant panda Lin Hui

Chiang Mai’s famous giant panda, Lin Hui, has turned 21 years old. The panda is well-known as being Chiang Mai Zoo’s most popular attraction, with birthday festivities drawing crowds from all around the country. The Chinese Consulate-General in Chiang Mai wrote a special card for the zoo, saying it was grateful for the zoo’s efforts in caring for the panda over the years. The consulate representative said the panda receives a lot of affection from Chiang Mai villagers and Thais, in addition to being well-cared for by the zoo. She said Lin Hui’s stay in the zoo is indicative of the great relationship between Thailand and China.

As a result, she says the Chinese Consulate-General will boost its funding for panda research and conservation at the zoo. The zoo’s director, Wuthichai Muangman says the panda is in good health and is being closely monitored by a veterinary team. Lin Hui is just one of two giant pandas that were on loan from China. Xuang Xuang is the other giant panda that was on loan but passed away back in 2019. Since 2003, over seven million visitors have flocked to the zoo to see the giant pandas.

But, the zoo hasn’t been without criticism over its practices. Just last week, the zoo faced allegations of neglect after Twitter posts showed pictures of the zoo in a bad state. Wuthichai responded to the allegations by holding a press conference. He noted that one tiger that was in question on the Twitter post, was currently within the recommended weight range for its age. The Twitter post showed a photo of an allegedly underweight tiger that was vomiting into a polluted pond.

Wuthichai says tigers are typically slim and can appear gaunt. He also said that vomiting is normal behaviour for felines as they cough up fur upon grooming themselves. He also responded to the photos that allegedly showed a polluted pond by saying that the green colour of the pond was the result of plankton, a natural occurrence in freshwater that isn’t dangerous. The zoo director also said that bird carcasses that were seen in the Twitter post were being addressed while noting that the carcasses were that of the migrating birds’ offspring that were passing through the zoo.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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