Berlin zoo's last panda, gift from China, dead at 34

Aug 22, 2012
Bao Bao, pictured in April 2012, died at 34 in Berlin. He was the oldest male panda bear in the world.

The oldest male panda bear in the world, a gift from China to former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, died Wednesday aged 34 in Berlin, its zoo said.

Bao Bao, the last remaining panda in Germany, was a present from then Chinese communist leader Hua Guofeng to Schmidt during a state visit in November 1980.

The panda lived with its companion Tjen Tjen until her death in 1984 and then was alone in Berlin, despite an unsuccessful attempt to mate him with a female panda called Ming Ming in London in 1991.

During another Chinese state visit, this time by Li Peng in 1994, another panda was promised to the and one year later Yan Yan arrived in Berlin.

Again, all attempts to persuade Yan Yan and Bao Bao to mate proved unsuccessful and the female died in 2007 aged 22.

Bao Bao died "peacefully in his sleep" early in the morning in his enclosure, the zoo said. An is underway to determine the cause of death.

"Bao Bao will never be forgotten," zoo official Heiner Kloes said in a sombre statement.

China is famed for its "panda diplomacy", using the as diplomatic gifts to other countries. About 1,600 remain in the wild in China, with some 300 others in captivity worldwide -- mostly in China.

Explore further: Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US zoo receives $4.5 mn panda donation

Dec 19, 2011

The National Zoo in Washington announced Monday it had received a $4.5 million donation from a rich US benefactor which will fund a five-year study into preservation of the giant panda.

6-day-old panda dies of pneumonia at Tokyo zoo

Jul 11, 2012

(AP) — A baby giant panda died at a Tokyo zoo on Wednesday, less than a week after becoming the first to be born at the facility in 24 years. The birth had created excitement across Japan, and the nation ...

Chinese pandas leave for France

Jan 15, 2012

Two Chinese pandas left their breeding centre in southwestern China Sunday destined for a 10-year stay in France, in a loan sealed after years of top-level negotiations.

Baby panda officially named at Vienna zoo

Dec 13, 2010

A baby panda born in August at the Vienna zoo was baptised Monday as "Fu Hu", which means Happy Tiger in Mandarin, with his human godfather at his side, Austria's economy minister.

Panda pair jet-lagged after flight to Britain

Dec 05, 2011

A pair of giant pandas are a bit jet-lagged after a long-haul flight from China but are already "frolicking around" in their new surroundings, a spokesman for Edinburgh Zoo said Monday.

Recommended for you

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

5 hours ago

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher

22 hours ago

One day about eight years ago, Katia Silvera, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, and her father were on a field trip in a mountainous area in central Panama when they stumbled ...

In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises

Apr 17, 2014

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but re ...

Fear of the cuckoo mafia

Apr 17, 2014

If a restaurant owner fails to pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

Researchers develop new model of cellular movement

(Phys.org) —Cell movement plays an important role in a host of biological functions from embryonic development to repairing wounded tissue. It also enables cancer cells to break free from their sites of ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...