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Giant panda dies from 'natural causes' in Mexico City zoo

Xiu Hua, 27, passed away in Chapultepec Zoo where she was born and raised.

Shuan shuan panda Enlarge
Shuan Shuan, one of the two surviving giant pandas in Mexico, eats bamboo during a visit to Ueno Zoo in Tokyo on December 10, 2003. (Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – A 27-year-old giant panda died from “natural causes” in Mexico City at the weekend.

Xiu Hua, or Dandelion, passed away on Saturday night at the Chapultepec Zoo where she was born and raised.

Authorities said Xiu Hua was one of the oldest pandas in captivity in the world.

She was born to Pepe and Ying Ying, who arrived in Mexico in 1975 as a gift from China, the year before Chairman Mao Zedong died.  

Xiu Hua’s death reduces Mexico’s giant panda population to two: Shuan Shuan and Xin Xin, who will celebrate their 26th and 23rd birthdays this year, respectively.

The zoo will try to artificially inseminate Xin Xin, a female, in the 2014 breeding season, Milenio reported.