BEIJING, September 14. /TASS/. The world's oldest giant panda in captivity, Basi, has died in the Straits Giant Panda Research and Exchange Centre in Fuzhou (south-eastern in China), Beijing’s Xinhua agency reported on Thursday.
"This age is equivalent to 100 in human years," experts noted. According to them, the panda’s corpse will be placed in a special museum "built in honor of this panda as a symbol of harmony between nature and human beings."
According to doctors, several months prior to the panda’s death, aside from her longevity, the animal had suffered from serious diseases, particularly from contracted liver and kidney failure.
The world learnt about Basi in 1987 when Beijing sent her on a mission across the Pacific to the San Diego Zoo (State of California, USA). The panda lived there for half a year. During this period, she took center stage, with the mass media churning out over 20,000 articles about her. Journalists then gave Basi dozen of epithets among which were "unique panda", "angel of friendship" and "envoy of peace."
In 1990, Basi together with Pan Pan, a male, became the mascot of the 11th Asian Games, partaking in the festive events in Beijing.