Heart disease initially determined as cause of giant panda Le Le’s death in US
Published: Feb 26, 2023 02:19 PM Updated: Feb 26, 2023 02:15 PM
Giant panda Le Le Photo: Xinhua

Giant panda Le Le Photo: Xinhua

Preliminary results suggest that heart disease was the cause of death of the giant panda Le Le at the Memphis Zoo in the US based on an autopsy on the panda conducted by a team of Chinese and US panda experts, according to a report on the official website of the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG).

The autopsy ruled out common causes of accidental death such as intestinal torsion, aortic rupture, ruptured liver abscess, or massive bleeding. Further pathological test results are needed to confirm the initial findings, said the report.

At the same time, the expert team inspected the health condition of the female giant panda, Ya Ya, and reviewed her physical examination report and monthly health report. According to the evaluation, except for the hair loss caused by skin disease, Ya Ya has a good appetite, normal feces and stable weight.

Experts also discussed with the Memphis Zoo about the abnormal condition of Ya Ya's hair and made suggestions for to local representatives on the breeding and care for the giant panda.

In April of 2003, Ya Ya from Beijing Zoo and Le Le from Shanghai Zoo arrived at the Memphis Zoo in the US state of Tennessee as a part of a joint conservation and research project between CAZG and the US zoo with an agreement duration of 10 years which was extended by 10 more years in 2013. The arrival of the pair of pandas made the Memphis Zoo the fourth zoo in the US to have pandas on exhibition.

China and the US are actively coordinating and handling relevant procedures to try to bring Ya Ya back to China at an early date. China has issued import licenses and quarantine permits, identified quarantine sites and made relevant preparations for the return of Ya Ya.

Chinese netizens have been very concerned about the condition of Ya Ya after the sudden death of its male partner Le Le on February 1. The preliminary results on Le Le's cause of death quickly became a popular search on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform, on Sunday.

If Ya Ya can't return to China earlier, we hope she can eat good quality food that meets her needs for survival, some netizens said. Others questioned whether the US zoo had actively intervened to treat Le Le when he developed physical problems.

"Every time we think of Le Le's death, we cry and feel distressed. It is hoped that the related departments can ensure Ya Ya's safe return," a netizen said.

Global Times