Macau’s giant panda Sam Sam, a gift from the mainland to mark the 10th anniversary of the territory’s return to China, died of kidney failure on Sunday.
The Macau Official Provisional Municipal Council said the five-year old panda had not shown any clinical symptoms of illness, but was uncooperative during training at the end of last month, according to a statement on its website .
The panda’s condition had initially improved after a week-long treatment. However, her kidney functions again deteriorated sharply over the last two weeks. Despite emergency medical efforts Sam Sam died on Sunday evening, the statement said.
The panda, known as Xin Xin in Mandarin, was born in Chengdu, Sichuan province, in 2008. Along with her male peer Hoi Hoi, she was sent to Macau in 2010. The pair settled at the Macao Giant Panda Pavilion at Seac Pai Van Park in Coloane in December that year.
The territory’s government said an investigation would be carried out with experts from Chengdu into the panda’s death.
Her peer Hoi Hoi appears to be in good health, the statement said. The Macao Giant Panda Pavilion has been closed until further notice.
The pandas names together - "Hoi" and "Sam" - mean “happiness” in Cantonese, were chosen in a public poll in Macau at the time.