Thailand’s favourite giant panda dies in Chiang Mai Zoo aged 19

A beloved male giant panda, on permanent loan to Thailand from China, has died aged 19 in Chiang Mai. Thais are morning the death of the hugely popular black and white mammal whose sex life captivated the kingdom.

Chuang Chuang, a resident of the northern city’s zoo since October 2003, arrived with female Lin Hui, where the pair lived in specially built enclosure, acclimatised to a cooler environment.

Chiang Mai zoo director Wutthichai Muangmun said before his death, Chuang Chuang was doing what he liked best – eating bamboo.

“He was walking around, but staggered and fell to the ground.”

The pair’s mating habits, or lack of, became a source of relentless public intrigue, with Chuang Chuang put on a low-carb diet and shown some panda ‘porn hub’ in an effort to spice up their sex drive. After struggles to conceive, Lin Hui finally gave birth thanks to artificial insemination to Linping in 2009, spurring a widely-watched live 24 hour “Panda Channel”.

“He was so lovely,” said Twitter user @Janekwb.

“Rest in peace, little bear.”

Each panda was insured for up to 15 million baht under the agreement with China. On loan from Chengdu, the pair were a part of China’s so-called “panda diplomacy”, and were supposed to be returned in 2023.

Giant pandas are notorious for their low sex drive, and are among the world’s most endangered animals. Their average life expectancy ranges from 15 to 20 year in the wild, but they can live up to 30 years in captivity.

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

Thailand's favourite giant panda dies in Chiang Mai Zoo aged 19 | News by Thaiger

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