The world’s oldest captive giant panda has died at the age of 37 – more than 100 years in human years.A zoo in China said on Thursday that the female bear, named Basi, died of ‘illnesses’ yesterday morning as they gave her an emotional send-off befitting a minor celebrity.The well-love animal was found as a starving cub in a frozen river in 1984. She quickly became a national star after being trained to perform various sports stunts, such as weight lifting and biking riding.
Basi died at the Strait Panda Research and Exchange Centre in Fuzhou, south-east China’s Fujian Province, after having fallen ill since June.
She was said to have died of multiple illnesses, including liver cirrhosis and renal failure, reported Xinhua News Agency.
State television reported live on Thursday from the centre, which held a memorial in her honour.
‘With a heavy heart, we solemnly announce today that the original model of ‘Panpan’, the mascot for the first Asian Games (in China, 1990), and an angel of friendship both at home and abroad, giant panda star Basi died at 8:50am on September 13, 2017 at the age of 37,’ the Straits Giant Panda Research and Exchange Center in Fuzhou said on social media.