Chuang Chuang, the giant panda at Chiang Mai’s zoo, which has been the star attraction at the zoo for the past 16 years, died Monday afternoon of an, as yet, unknown cause.
The zoo director, Mr. Wutthichai Muangmun, said the 19-year old male panda, died at about 4.30pm.
He said he checked the CCTV system and found Chuang Chuang eating bamboo and then walk for a while before limping slightly and falling to the ground.
Chuang Chuang’s sudden death was reported to the Chinese consul based in Chiang Mai and a team of veterinarians later conducted an autopsy to determine the cause of its death, the results of which were not available at the time of this report.
Wutthichai said that it was initially thought that the panda simply died of old age.
Chuang Chuang was lent to Thailand in October 2003 by the Chinese government to be exhibited at Chiang Mai zoo with another panda, Lin Huei, as a goodwill envoys between China and Thailand. Its Thai name is Taewan, or Kam Ai in the northern dialect.
It was born on August 6th, 2000 at the panda research and conservation centre in Chengdu Township in Sichuan province.