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

14 Septembre 2017

The world's oldest captive giant panda has died, BBC reported citing her keepers in China's south-eastern Fuzhou province. Basi's handlers at the Straits Giant Panda Research and Exchange Center in Fuzhou in Southeastern China held an emotional memorial for her on Thursday that was broadcast live from the zoo.

Basi was named after a valley she was rescued from when she was around four-years-old.

However, Basi was confirmed as the world's oldest living captive panda by the Guinness World Records only in August this year.

"Basi's body will be put in Basi Museum, which is being constructed for people to forever remember her and share the spirit of the harmonious development between humans and nature", Chen said.

Basi, whose age equated to about 100 in human years, outlived most of her peers by almost two decades.

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She had lived at the facility ever since.

In 1990, Basi together with Pan Pan, a male, became the mascot of the 11th Asian Games, partaking in the festive events in Beijing.

Basi was nothing less than a celebrity in China.

An official from the centre said: 'With a heavy heart, we solemnly announce today that giant panda star Basi died at 8:50am at the age of 37.

Basi also wowed American crowds in 1987 while on six-month loan to the San Diego Zoo. But they are no longer endangered, following decades of conservation work.

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