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The world's oldest panda dies at 37

(CNTV)    16:29, September 14, 2017

Chen Yucun, director of the panda research and exchange center, shows the certificate of "the world's eldest giant panda in captivity" beside giant panda Basi at the panda research and exchange center in Fuzhou, capital of southeast China's Fujian Province, January 17, 2017. /Xinhua Photo

The world's oldest captive panda Basi passed away on Wednesday in Fuzhou, aged 37, the equivalent of more than 100 human years.

Basi has been suffering from hepatocirrhosis, renal failure and other diseases since June, according to Chen Yucun, director of the Strait Panda Research and Exchange Center in Fuzhou.

Although the center organized a special nursing team which took every measure to try to extend her life, Basi passed away on Wednesday at the center.

The center held a send-off memorial in her honor on Thursday.

“With a heavy heart, we solemnly announce today that the original model of ‘Panpan’, the mascot for the first Asian Games (in China, 1990), and an angel of friendship both at home and abroad, giant panda star Basi died at 8:50 a.m. on September 13, 2017 at the age of 37,” said the center.

Basi, born in 1980, is the oldest, and possibly the most famous, panda on the Chinese mainland. Besides being chosen as the model for the mascot of the Beijing Asian Games, she joined the performance of Chinese Spring Festival Gala in 1991.

At the age of four, the panda was rescued from a frozen river in the the Basi Gorge in Baoxing County of southwest China's Sichuan Province. In the same year, she was moved to Fuzhou, capital of southeast China’s Fujian Province. 

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

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