The sudden death of a celebrity panda loaned to a zoo in Thailand has finally been explained as experts linked his death to heart failure.
On Tuesday, a Chinese-assisted autopsy revealed Chuang Chuang, a 19-year-old panda loaned since 2003 along with his mate Lin Hui, had died of heart failure in Chiang Mai Zoo in Thailand, according to Reuters.
“The autopsy and analysis by Chinese-Thai experts showed that the nutrition health of Giant Panda Chuang Chuang was good, no external wounds were found and no foreign objects were found in his trachea,” the zoo’s statement said on Tuesday. “The cause of his death was heart failure, resulting in the lack of oxygen of internal organs and leading to his death.”
Chuang Chuang died in the afternoon of Sept. 16 after eating bamboo inside his enclosure.
News about his death quickly spread online and drew outrage from many Chinese citizens.
“You must take good care of our national treasures loaned to you, Thailand,” a Weibo user said via South China Morning Post. “Now Chuang Chuang is gone. It’s no use saying anything. If you can’t take care of our national treasures, don’t borrow them. I’m so sad.”
Chiang Mai Zoo confirmed it will pay unspecified compensation to Beijing as outlined in the loan agreement.
Meanwhile, Lin Hui will likely stay in the zoo for the time being. However, there were previous talks of China taking her back after a video of her sitting alone inside Chuang Chuang’s empty cage was aired online after his death.
Pandas generally live 14 to 20 years in the wild, and they could live for up to 30 years in captivity, according to World Wide Fund for Nature.