CityNews – 17th September 2019, Chuang Chuang, Chiang Mai Zoo’s giant panda dies unexpectedly yesterday evening.
Chuang Chuang had just celebrated his 19th birthday on August 6th, and was said to have been in good health. Chuang Chuang was born in Chengdu, China, but was brought to Chiang Mai Zoo, to much fanfare, as a symbol of bilateral friendship between the two nations in late 2003. He was soon joined by Lin Hua, another giant panda, and the became a massive draw, attracting thousands of visitors to Chiang Mai Zoo for many years to come.
They became so famous that the world’s first Panda Channel was launched on, an oddly addictive watch as viewers simply stared at the panda habitat from various angles, watching them mainly eat and sleep.
The couple became even more famous when Lin Hua was inseminated with Chuang Chuang’s sperm, following years of breathiness news and updates of innovative methods, and failed results, to get the rather chilled pandas to mate, and became pregnant. Lin Ping was born in 2009, becoming the first panda in the world to have been born in a tropical climate. A nationwide campaign to name the baby panda saw an unprecedented number of respondents and lead to yet another boom in the panda-visiting business.
Wuttichai Muangmun, Director General of Chiang Mai Zoo made the announcement today that around 4.30pm yesterday (Sep 16th) the staff witnessed Chuang Chuang stand up after eating bamboo, walk around a little and then suddenly fall over. They attempted to resuscitate the giant panda, but he was soon pronounced dead.
The Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China has been notified of the matter and has organised to send a team of specialists to determine the cause of death. Wuttichai admitted that the staff of the zoo were unable to make a conclusion on the matter.
Kanika Nimtrakoon, the veterinary in charge of the zoo’s panda stated that Chuang Chuang was in good health with no abnormal signs prior to his death. Chiang Mai Zoo will be organising a remembrance ceremony for fans soon.
Giant pandas living in the wild have a life expectancy of around 20 years. However, captive pandas tend to live another ten years longer, with the oldest captive panda alive today being 38 years old.