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ANIMALS > Berlin zoo’s panda Bao Bao dies

BERLIN - The Associated Press

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In this Nov. 4, 2005 file photo panda Bao Bao eats a cake he received for his 25th anniversary at the Berlin zoo in Berlin, Germany. AP photo

In this Nov. 4, 2005 file photo panda Bao Bao eats a cake he received for his 25th anniversary at the Berlin zoo in Berlin, Germany. AP photo

The Berlin zoo says Bao Bao, who was given to West Germany by China in 1980 and was one of the world’s oldest giant pandas, has died.

The zoo said the 34-year-old bear died early Wednesday in his enclosure after his health deteriorated over the last several months.
 
Bao Bao was born in 1978 in China and later given as a gift by then-Chinese leader Hua Guofeng to West Germany’s chancellor, Helmut Schmidt. Hua, Mao Zedong’s successor, also gave Germany female panda Tjen Tjen at the same time, but she died in 1984.
 
Bao Bao was loaned to London’s zoo between 1991 and 1993 as a potential - but ultimately unsuccessful - mate for its panda, Ming Ming.
 
The zoo says Bao Bao was the world’s oldest known male panda.

August/22/2012

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