Heart attack killed panda in Thailand

Central Station | 10 Oct 2019

A giant panda whose sudden death in Thailand sparked outrage in China last month died from a heart attack, experts say.

China sent a team to Thailand after 19-year-old Chuang Chuang died at the Chiang Mai Zoo on September 16.

Pandas can live up to 30 years in captivity, and Chuang Chuang had been living in an air-conditioned enclosure with female Lin Hui. The pair were on loan from Chengdu, to be returned in 2023.

The demise became a trending topic on Weibo, with people discussing the "suspicious circumstances" of his death. Some claimed the zookeepers fed him mature bamboo - which is usually harder and used for furniture.

But after an autopsy a joint team of Thai and Chinese experts concluded "unanimously" there was no trauma and no foreign body in his trachea. Rather, the cause of death was "an acute attack of chronic heart failure" resulting in a lack of oxygen.

Zoo director Wutthichai Muangmun said that before his death Chuang Chuang was doing what he liked best - eating bamboo.

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