Basi, the Oldest Panda Said Farewell to us!Basi, world's oldest giant panda in captivity, died eight months after we celebrated her 37th birthday on September 13, 2017.
Born in the wild, Basi was found and rescued from a frozen river at the age of four in Sichuan Province. Then she was transferred to Fuzhou, nearly spent her whole life there.
Basi was the original model of Panpan, the mascot for the first Asian games (in China, 1990). It has been a very tough time for us to say goodbye to her since she had already accompanied us for such a long time. 37 years old, an equivalent of more than 100 years old for humans. The average life of the wild giant panda is only about 20 years.
Back to her 37th birthday
She had an official party at Fuzhou Haixia Panda World, celebrated with an extravagant cake made from bamboo, flour, wheat and corn.
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.
Her legendary life
She was invited on behalf of the China Wildlife Conservation Association to visit San Diego for 3 months. There were 2.5 million people who came to see her, many of whom had been queuing for four or five hours, only to see her within “three magical minutes”.
The three-month visit was extended to six months because of “Basi Charm”. She witnessed the friendly relations between China and the United States.
We all believe that she is not only a giant panda to us, but a close family member. She was even the “matchmaker” for her keeper Chenxiaolin, who accompanied Basi for 10 years and also taught her how to perform acrobatics.
After being trained to lift weights, ride bikes and shoot hoops, she became a panda sports star in China.
Her struggles with the debilitating disease
She was in a coma for a week because of high blood pressure in 2002, and when she woke up, she struggled out of the room. All the paramedics involved were in tears. It's even more heartbreaking that she underwent cataract surgery in the same year. Nobody could imagine what she really had suffered.
After 6 years’ relatively peaceful life, she had a long battle against pancreatitis for 8 days and 8 nights. We all felt heavy-hearted for her ongoing battle with the illness, breaking down in tears while recalling paramedics' diagnoses.
Suffered from the endless illness, she eventually finished her journey on September 13 at 8:50 a.m which broke our hearts. Rest in piece, Basi.