Friday, 22 June, 2018

China's Basi Was 37 and a Star

World's oldest captive giant panda dies aged 37 in China RIP Basi: World's oldest panda dies at the age of 37
Sammy Stanley | 15 September, 2017, 02:16

The world's oldest giant panda in captivity, Basi, has died in the Straits Giant Panda Research and Exchange Centre in Fuzhou (south-eastern in China), Beijing's Xinhua agency reported on Thursday.

Earlier this January, the panda celebrated her 37 birthday, which is equivalent to more than 100 human years.

Her body will be kept preserved for display in a planed "Basi Museum" at the zoo.

Many netizens called her Granny Basi, though others preferred to call her Pan Pan.

The panda lived there for half a year. "Thank you for the sweet memories", said one user on China's Twitter-like Weibo platform.

The bears, which have a life span of 20 years in the wild, are also no longer endangered after decades of conservation work was successful in securing the future of the much-loved creature.

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However, Basi was confirmed as the world's oldest living captive panda by the Guinness World Records only in August this year.

Named after a valley she was rescued from, 37-year-old Basi had lived at the panda facility in Fuzhou since she was four or five.

Basi was never used for breeding and her death comes days after RZSS Edinburgh Zoo announced the latest attempt to artificially inseminate its panda Tian Tian had failed.

The rare giant pandas are China's unofficial national mascot and live mainly in Sichuan's bamboo-covered mountains.

The world learnt about Basi in 1987 when Beijing sent her on a mission across the Pacific to the San Diego Zoo (State of California, USA).

With many, like Basi, far exceeding their normal life expectancy, a special home for geriatric pandas has been established in Sichuan province to give animals suffering from digestive problems, arthritis and poor eyesight special diets and exercise regimes to boost their quality of life.

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