BANGKOK, April 19 — A 21-year-old giant panda, Lin Hui on loan from China to Thailand died at Thailand’s Chiang Mai Zoo in the early hours of Wednesday.

Chiang Mai Zoo director Wutthichai Muangman said Lin Hui suffered a nosebleed on Tuesday morning while in the exhibition zone.

He said  zoo officials consulted with Chinese experts for Lin Hui’s treatment, however, she was in critical condition by evening and ultimately died.

“The Chinese and Thai experts will jointly conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death,” Wutthichai said at a press conference today.

On Tuesday night, officials from the Chinese consulate in Chiang Mai were at the zoo during the attempts to save the panda.

“Chiang Mai Zoo consulted China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda on treatment options,” the consulate said in a statement today.

The statement said during her 20-year stay in Thailand, Lin Hui was deeply loved by the Thai people and became an envoy of friendship between China and Thailand.

Lin Hui, born in September 2001 and moved to Thailand in 2003, had been living in the zoo ever since. She was due to return to China in October this year.

Lin Hui and her mate Chuang Chuang were part of Beijing’s panda diplomacy where China sent giant pandas to other countries as a symbol of friendship.

The two giant pandas were on loan to Thailand since 2003. Lin Hui later gave birth to Lin Ping in 2009. The cub was sent back to China in 2013.

In 2019, Chuang Chuang died of a heart attack.

Meanwhile, Xinhua reported that recent health examinations showed that the giant panda suffered from an abnormal kidney function index and high blood pressure.


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