World's oldest captive giant panda dies aged 37 in China

Happy Birthday Basi! World's oldest captive panda turns 37

The world's oldest captive panda dies at the age of 37 in Fujian Province, China, on Wednesday (9/13/2017).

Since then, she had spent nearly her entire life at the facility and has now been honoured with a public memorial to celebrate her life which was broadcast live across the internet.

Basi outlived most of her panda companions by almost two decades.

Basi was rescued from the wild after falling into a river in southwestern China when she was around four and has lived at the Fuzhou facility ever since. She would go on to visit the San Diego Zoo and serve as the model for the 1990 Asian Games mascot.

Basi became something of a celebrity in China over the years and has been photographed together with current first lady Peng Liyuan.

Basi became the world's oldest panda after her predecessor title holder, a fellow female giant panda Jia Jia, died in October 2016 at the age of 38.

Basi was known for her athletic feats, including riding a bike, dunking a ball through a lowered basketball hoop, lifting weights, and twirling a baton in her forepaws while balancing on a see-sawing wooden board, Agence France-Presse said.

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More than two million have watched Basi perform over the years.

Doctors had spent the last three months trying to keep her alive but she eventually succumbed to liver and kidney failure.

Another Weibo user added: "Wish you well in the Panda Planet".

Ye Ye, a 16-year-old giant panda, lounges in a wild enclosure at a conservation center in Wolong Nature Reserve.

Basi was never used for breeding and her death comes days after RZSS Edinburgh Zoo announced the latest attempt to artificially inseminate its panda Tian Tian had failed.

Giant pandas, protected in China and considered symbols of the country, live to an average age of 20 in the wild and tend to live longer in captivity.

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