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The Other Giant Pandas

Peter is an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer with over 50 years of work within zoos.

Shuan Shuan

Credit: Junko Kimura

Credit: Junko Kimura

Many people, and a lot of the media, believe that all Giant Pandas belong to China. As today all Pandas are rented out to zoos for short duration it is an easy assumption to make.

It was not always the case. A pair Giant Pandas were gifted to Mexico by China back in 1975.

It was not till 1984 that China implemented their loan policy.

The first Giant Pandas to arrive at the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico in 1975 were 'Ying Ying' and 'Pe Pe'. They settled in well and bred for the first time in 1980.

Over the years a total of eight live cubs have been produced. They were the first Giant Pandas to be born in captivity outside of China.

Xing Xing

Credit Pyonphoto

Credit Pyonphoto

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The Oldest Captive Panda in the World

Today only 'Xin Xin' and 'Shuan Shuan' remain, both females and the last in their line.

The expected lifespan of a Giant Panda is around 30 years in captivity.

'Xin Xin' was born on 1st July 1990

'Shuan Shuan' was born on 15th June 1987 and is presently the oldest Giant Panda in the world.

Check it out Mexican zoo has oldest pandas outside of China

The zoo has in the region of 5.5 million visitors each year and many of these will specifically visit the Giant Pandas. The Mexican people are proud of these bears which they have embraced as their own. It remains to be seen what will happen next.


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