Chinese want their panda back

Panda Xuang Xuang died at Chiang Mai zoo on Monday. (Photo by Cheewin Sattha)

Chinese netizens took to social media to demand Lin Hui, a female panda currently kept at Chiang Mai Zoo, be returned to China, following the recent death of her mate Xuang Xuang.

On Weibo, China’s popular microblogging platform, a social media user said Thailand is “not suitable for raising pandas”, while another said that Thais “do not treat animals as well as we think”, the BBC reported.

One widely shared image, whose source is still unidentified, claims to show Xuang Xuang being fed hard bamboo stems instead of bamboo leaves — sparking further uproar among Chinese netizens, who then demanded the remaining panda at Chiang Mai Zoo be returned to China.

Xuang Xuang died at the age of 19 on Monday.

A panda’s average life span in the wild is 14-20 years. But they can live up to 30 years in captivity.

Veterinarians at Chiang Mai Zoo said the panda died of old age, dismissing an unsubstantiated report which claimed that a “white object” was found in Xuang Xuang’s windpipe.

A check into Xuang Xuang’s parents lifespans showed that neither had lived to old age. According to veterinarian and deputy chief of the Zoological Park Organisation, Sumet Kamonnat, genetics also determine a lifespan to a certain extent.

Dr Sumet insisted that Xuang Xuang was fed properly.

“Each day veterinarians gave them an adequate amount of food, including five different local bamboo species,” he said.

Experts from China will conduct a postmortem examination on the panda later on Thursday.



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