Mystery Panda Death Solved

Posted on January 30th 2020

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Last year, a celebrity panda died inexplicably whilst out on loan to Chiang Mai Zoo in Thailand. Millions of people took to social media in China demanding to know the reason why Chuang Chuang died. The cause of death as it turns out was heart failure according to an autopsy performed with assistance from China. The 19-year old panda had been on loan to the zoo since 2003 alongside his mate Lin Hui. The two pandas were celebrities in Thailand with the media’s laser like focus on their love life including a wedding ceremony which took place in 2005.

Panda died early

Chuang Chuang’s death which was relatively early for a panda resulted in mourning from his Thai fans and Chinese social media went bananas. Pandas can live up to 30 years in captivity and between 14 to 20 years in the wild. Chiang Mai Zoo denied the obese panda may have died as a result of over-feeding, neglect or even some kind of attack. The autopsy results found that Chuang Chuang had good nutritional health and no external wounds or foreign bodies in his trachea.

Heart failure

The cause of death was heart failure which deprived internal organs of oxygen. The Chiang Mai Zoo did however confirm Thailand would pay some unspecified compensation to Beijing as part of its loan agreement. For the moment Lin Hui, Chuang Chuang’s mate would continue to reside at the zoo. Chuang Chuang was famously put on a diet in 2007 as the zoo sought to have both pandas mate. The zoo even tried panda porn but that attempt failed and Lin Hui eventually conceived through artificial insemination.

Female panda to remain in Thailand

It is rare for captive pandas to give birth. The offspring was ultimately returned to China. Soon after Chuang Chuang’s death, footage was shown of Lin Hui alone in her enclosure beside the empty pen of her mate. That footage was aired globally with Chinese officials saying they were debating whether to have her returned to China over concerns she may be lonely. So far, no decision has been made according to the zoo which added Thailand would continue to try its best to take care of the remaining panda.


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