Tuan Tuan, a panda that China gave to Taiwan during a period when diplomatic relations between the two countries had improved, died on Saturday of multiple health problems, reports the BBC.
The 18-year-old panda died after suffering a series of strokes, the Taipei Zoo announced. Tuan Tuan became ill in August, when he began to suffer from convulsions. Vets in China were called to examine him, and tests showed he had a brain injury.
The animal was placed on medication, but its condition became “irreversible” and it could no longer “live a quality life,” the zoo said.
Tuan Tuan and his partner, Yuan Yuan, whose names mean “unity” and “reunion” in Chinese, were given by China in 2008 to Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory, in a gesture that symbolized an improvement in their relations.
After their arrival in Taipei, Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan attracted huge interest from tourists. Yuan Yuan gave birth to two female cubs, Yuan Zaibap in 2013 and Yuan Bao in 2020, the BBC notes.
China considers democratically-ruled Taiwan its own territory and regularly reaffirms its intention to reunify the island.
Tensions between the two countries rose dramatically in August after China staged military maneuvers near Taiwan following a visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
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Source From: Libertatea