‘Basi’ World’s oldest captive panda dies
The world’s oldest captive giant panda has died at age 37, more than 100 years in human years, her handlers in China said on Thursday as they gave “Basi” an emotional send-off befitting a minor celebrity.
Basi outlived most of her peers by nearly two decades – pandas in the wild have an average lifespan of about 20 years – but those in captivity generally live longer.
She was something of a beloved star in China and her birthdays were often celebrated with gusto.
State television reported live on Thursday from the zoo where Basi lived in southeastern China, 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.