China to the rescue as Taiwan’s giant panda nears death
After a Panda in Taiwan came down with a life-threatening brain lesion, China is asked to help.
Chinese veterinary experts have been invited to Taiwan, according to zoo officials, for a rare visit between the two sides after a male panda symbolizing an era of warmer ties was moved into end-of-life care.
Calming tensions with Taiwan fueled by US meddling in the region, the Chinese vets accepted the invitation and are expected to stay for seven days and observe, rather than conduct health checks, as per Taipei Zoo.
This comes as Tuan Tuan, a male panda that was gifted to the island by Beijing in 2008, fell ill in recent weeks, and looks to be entering his twilight days.
#PandaNews🐼— 鳳凰資訊 PhoenixTV News (@PhoenixTV_News) October 28, 2022
Giant Panda, Tuan Tuan, placed in palliative care as his condition deteriorated, having suffered seizures at the Taipei Zoo, most likely from a malignant brain tumour.
An appeal for the assistance of Mainland experts has already been submitted by the Taipei Zoo. pic.twitter.com/hQ4AfOdBaO
It is unclear when the vets will arrive, but Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said Wednesday that their visa applications were being processed.
Tuan Tuan and his breeding mate Yuan Yuan were given to Taiwan by Beijing during a more cordial period between the two neighbors.
Tuan Tuan, 18, became ill in August after experiencing seizures and becoming increasingly unsteady and lethargic.
Tuan Tuan was moved to palliative care earlier this week after Taipei Zoo suspected he had a brain tumor.
It is worth noting that Giant pandas are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity, but their numbers in the wild have recently increased after years of decline.
A friendly gift
Tuan Tuan and his partner Yuan Yuan were given to Taiwan as a goodwill gesture by China in 2008, as part of its long-standing practice known as "panda diplomacy."
The panda and his partner Yuan Yuan have given birth to two cubs since being given to Taiwan, one in 2013 and another in 2020.