Thailand’s giant panda Lin Hui died of multiple organ failure, experts rule

Lin Hui | Photo via Chiang Mai Zoo


Post-mortem examinations ruled that Thailand‘s beloved giant panda Lin Hui, who passed away at 21 years old at Chiang Mai Zoo last month, died of multiple organ failure.

China loaned the giant panda to Thailand in 2003 as a goodwill ambassador between the two countries for 20 years. She was set to return home this year.

A joint team of experts from China and Thailand conducted pathologic and etiological examinations after Lin Hui suddenly died on April 19, having fainted the day before, the China Conservation and Research Centre reported yesterday.

The experts ruled that Lin Hui died of multiple organ failure caused by atherosclerosis (plaque formation inside an artery) and embolism (blocked artery caused by a foreign body, such as a blood clot).

After a tourist took a video of Lin Hui with blood stains on her nose, the centre in China immediately guided staff at the zoo to instruct them on how to conduct rescue efforts. Sadly, Lin Hui could not be saved.

Experts say the giant panda’s nosebleed was caused by a hemangioma, a type of benign tumour, in her nasal cavity.

Officials at the China Conservation and Research Centre conducted a thorough examination of the conditions at Chiang Mai Zoo and concluded that it “meets the requirements for giant panda breeding management and disease prevention and control.”

The loss of Lin Hui and her partner Chuang Chuang, who died in 2019, was deeply felt in Thailand. The pandas became the star attraction at Chiang Mai Zoo two decades ago and will be greatly missed.

ORIGINAL STORY: Thailand’s beloved giant panda at Chiang Mai Zoo dies at 21 years old

Famous female giant panda Lin Hui passed away at Chiang Mai Zoo in northern Thailand this morning at the age of 21 years old. The beloved panda brought joy to the Thai nation for over two decades.

The panda’s cause of death is awaiting confirmation from Chiang Mai Zoo. Reports say that Lin Hui fell ill and displayed “abnormal symptoms” yesterday.

After her male partner Chuang Chuang died in 2019, Lin Hui was the only giant panda remaining in the kingdom.

Lin Hui was born on September 28, 2001, at the Chiang Panda Research and Conservation Centre in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China. She arrived at Chiang Mai Zoo with Chuang Chuang in October 2003 on a 20-year loan from China, set to return home to China later this year.

Lin Hui and Chuang Chuang’s daughter Lin Bing was born at the zoo in May 2009, becoming the first-ever giant panda born in Thailand and one of the few giant pandas born in captivity outside of China. Lin Bing returned to China when she was two years old.

Over the years, Lin Hui became the star attraction at the zoo and was well-adored by Chiang Mai locals and Thai people everywhere, many travelling to the zoo just to catch a glimpse of the giant pandas. She even won an award for having a great personality based on votes from panda fans from all around the world.

Lin Hui’s partner Chuang Chuang died suddenly in his enclosure in September 2019. He ate a meal of bamboo leaves, stood up not long afterward, and collapsed, officials said.

In September last year, celebrations at Chiang Mai Zoo for Lin Hui’s 21st birthday drew crowds from all over Thailand to the zoo. The Chinese Consulate-General in Chiang Mai wrote a special message thanking the zoo for its efforts in taking care of Lin Hui for nearly two decades. She said that Lin Hui’s stay at the zoo indicates a strong relationship between Thailand and China.

At her 21st birthday party, the zoo’s director Wutichai Muangman said that Lin Hui was in good health and was closely monitored by a veterinary team. He said the giant pandas drew in more than 7.4 million visitors to the zoo since 2003.

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 years in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity.

The death of Lin Hui is a great loss to Thailand, China and giant panda lovers all over the world.

Thailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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