World & Nation

Popular panda on loan from China dies in Thai zoo

Chuang Chuang, a giant panda on loan to
Chuang Chuang eats bamboo at Chiang Mai Zoo in northern Thailand in 2005.
(Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/ AFP /Getty Images)

Zoo staff in northern Thailand donned black-and-white clothing and observed a minute of silence to mourn the sudden death of their popular male giant panda, who was on a long-term loan from China.

Officials said Chuang Chuang collapsed Monday in his enclosure at the Chiang Mai Zoo shortly after standing up following a meal of bamboo leaves.

Staff said Tuesday they found no sign of illness or injury on the 19-year-old panda’s body, and that he had recently passed a health checkup.


A zoo veterinarian said pandas have a life expectancy of 14 to 20 years.

Chuang Chuang and his female mate arrived in Chiang Mai in 2003 on a 10-year loan that was later extended for another 10 years.

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