Taipei Zoo released this image of staff caring for Tuan Tuan, a giant panda donated to Taiwan from mainland China. Tuan Tuan died on Saturday after suffering multiple strokes. Photo courtesy of Taipei Zoo/Facebook
November 19 (UPI) — A giant panda, donated to Taiwan from mainland China, has died after suffering a series of attacks at the Taipei Zoo, officials said.
The panda, named Tuan Tuan, was born in 2004 and gifted to Taiwan, along with his companion Yaun Yaun in 2008 during a period of warming relations between the two governments.
China frequently sends giant pandas to other countries as a sign of goodwill, but retains ownership of the bears and their offspring.
China still views Taiwan as a rogue province and most countries, including the United States, do not recognize it as an independent nation.
China severed diplomatic contacts and overtures with Taiwan after pro-independence President Tsai Ing-Wen was elected in 2016. Tsai was re-elected in 2020.
In a rare show of unity, the mainland Chinese government sent two experts to help the Taipei Zoo after reports that Tuan Tuan suffered from a malignant brain tumor earlier this month.
Officials in Taiwan and mainland China have expressed condolences over the death.
“Tuan Tuan has lived in the Taipei Zoo for more than a decade, bringing joy and good memories to people of all ages in Taiwan,” said the Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council, which handles issues related to the Mainland China.
The Chinese government thanked the Taipei Zoo for its attempts to treat Tuan Tuan and expressed the wish to continue working with Taiwan to protect the pandas.
Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for the Chinese Taiwan Affairs Office, said Tuan Tuan “is an important symbol of the peaceful development of hetero-hetero relations.”
The article is in French
. panda giant offered taiwan by china dies zoo taipei