The world’s oldest captive giant panda died on Wednesday. Basi was 37 years old, which is more than a century in human years.
Her handlers at the Straits Giant Panda Research and Exchange Center in Fuzhou in Southeastern China held an emotional memorial for her on Thursday, which was broadcast live from the zoo.
Basi enjoyed the status of a celebrity in China. Her birthdays were often celebrated with great enthusiasm. “Panpan”, the mascot for the first Asian Games in China in 1990, was based on her.
The giant panda lived at the Fuzhou zoo since she was four or five years old. She was rescued from the wild after falling into a river in southwestern China. She was named after the valley where she was found. Basi spent some time at the San Diego Zoo in the United States for six months in 1987.