China will consider sending another giant panda to Thailand after ascertaining the cause of Lin Hui’s death at Chiang Mai Zoo, according to the Chinese consulate in the northern city.
Chiang Mai Zoo said its final goodbye to Thailand’s last giant panda on Wednesday (April 26) with a merit-making ceremony to mark the seventh day after Lin Hui’s death.
Present at the event were Consul General Wu Zhiwu, Chiang Mai governor Weerapong Ritrod and the zoo director Wuthichai Muangman.
Some 20 monks presided over the merit-making rites for Lin Hui, who died in her enclosure at the zoo on April 19 at the age of 21. The lifespan of giant pandas is estimated at 15-20 years in the wild and up to 30 years in human care.
Wu said Chinese officials were satisfied with the level of care provided to Lin Hui by Chiang Mai Zoo. Chinese experts were now conducting an autopsy on the panda to seek the cause of death, he added.
“China will discuss sending a new panda to Thailand after reaching a conclusion on the death of Lin Hui,” said the consul general.
Lin Hui was born in September 2001 at the Giant Panda Research and Conservation Centre in China’s Sichuan province. She was loaned to Chiang Mai Zoo with her future partner Xuang Xuang in October 2003 as a gesture of goodwill between the two countries.
The loan deal, reportedly worth at least US$1 million per year, came with a clause that any cub born during the period was handed back to China.
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. The cub was returned to China when she was two years old.
Xuang Xuang died at the zoo in September 2019, leaving Lin Hui as the only giant panda remaining in Thailand.
The Panda House was reopened on Saturday (April 22) with life-sized cut-outs of Lin Hui in different poses at her favourite spots in the room.
Also on display is an exhibition of photographs featuring Lin Hui where fans can leave condolence messages. Mourners can also leave flowers at the Panda House.
Source : The Star