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Shanghai zoo: Pandas’ death a matter of 'numbers and probability’

(People's Daily Online)    17:03, January 24, 2017

Guo Guo and Hua Sheng

The successive deaths of giant pandas Guo Guo and her 175-day-old daughter, Hua Sheng, at Shanghai Wild Animal Park have triggered concern from Internet users. Some claim that five of the park's pandas have died in the past 10 years, which is sufficient cause to question the zoo’s capabilities.

Explaining why so many giant pandas have died in the park, Tao Fengyuan, manager of the park's planning department, told the Thecover.cn that it is a matter of chance.

"It's very simple. You can go to zoos in other cities, and only one or two pandas are kept in each zoo. Therefore, it is a matter of numbers and probability," he said, adding that there are still five pandas in the zoo even after the deaths of Guo Guo and Hua Sheng.

Tao explained that the death of the mother and daughter within days of each other is pure coincidence. The main cause of both deaths is disease; Guo Guo died from organ failure and Hua Sheng died of a twisted intestine, which is common among giant pandas.

"It is impossible for us to give up the responsibility of protecting giant pandas for commercial reasons," he said.

Gu Jianming, an official with the forestry department of Shanghai's Pudong New Area, denied the online allegations that five pandas have died in the park in the past decade. Gu said the park's panda hall was only opened in 2010. As far as he knows, Guo Guo and Hua Sheng are the first and only giant pandas to have died in the park. He said the station has not begun its investigation into the pandas’ deaths, but they will examine the situation soon. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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