Taipei City Zoo Panda Tuan Tuan Dies Aged 18

Taipei City Zoo Panda Tuan Tuan Dies Aged 18
Two giant pandas from China, Tuan Tuan, and Yuan Yuan are displayed in their new enclosure at the Taipei City Zoo in Muzha on Jan. 24, 2009. (Guo Ru-hsiao/AFP via Getty Images)

A giant panda died at Taipei City’s zoo on Saturday.

The 18-year-old panda, known as Tuan Tuan, died when his heart ceased to beat, zoo authorities said.

Recently, two experts from China visited the zoo to inspect Tuan Tuan, who was suspected to have a malignant brain tumor and had taken a turn for the worse.

The giant panda and his mate, Yuan Yuan, were gifted to the zoo in 2008 during a time of warming relations between China and Taiwan, which split amid civil war in 1949.

Ties have deteriorated since then, with Beijing cutting off contacts in 2016 following the election of independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen, who was re-elected in 2020.

China sends pandas abroad as a sign of goodwill but maintains ownership over the animals and any cubs they produce.

The animals are native to southwestern China and are an unofficial national mascot.

Comments