In a heart-wrenching announcement, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda shared the sorrowful news of the sudden death of Huan Cai, a young male panda that had just marked his first year of life. The incident, which has resonated with animal enthusiasts worldwide, took place early in October.
Huan Cai’s birth in December 2022 was celebrated as a beacon of hope for panda conservation efforts. His presence represented a significant achievement for the Chengdu Research Base, an institution renowned for its dedication to the preservation and rehabilitation of this endangered species. The staff at the base poured their heart and soul into ensuring that Huan Cai received the best possible care and attention throughout his short life.
However, nature can sometimes be unpredictable. On October 1, the jovial and playful Huan Cai started displaying worrisome symptoms. Around 6 pm, caretakers at the base observed that he was noticeably less lively, appearing depressed and disinterested in his surroundings. Alarmingly, he also refused any nourishment. As the evening progressed, his condition swiftly worsened. By 9 pm, he exhibited even more distressing symptoms, passing blood in his stools.
Despite the best efforts of the medical team and associated specialists, the young panda’s health rapidly deteriorated. They worked tirelessly into the night, using all available resources in an attempt to reverse his condition. Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain, and the base lost the beloved Huan Cai on October 2.
Subsequent analyses aimed to uncover the root cause of this tragedy. After rigorous tests, experts concluded that the cause of death was acute hemorrhagic necrotic enteritis (AHNE). This finding was particularly perplexing as AHNE typically has a microbial origin. Still, in Huan Cai’s case, no clear pathogenic microorganisms were identified. Additionally, other potential causes like ingestion of foreign objects or food poisoning were also ruled out.
The unexpected demise of Huan Cai sent shockwaves throughout the online community, especially in China. Numerous individuals took to Sina Weibo, a popular microblogging site, to express their grief. One heartbroken user lamented, “I can’t believe it! He is only a 1-year-old cute baby, what a pity…” Another empathetically commented, “Every panda wishes for a safe and healthy life. We pray Huan Cai is now at peace, free from any suffering.”
The Chengdu Research Base expressed their profound grief and sorrow over the loss of Huan Cai. In a moving statement, they conveyed their commitment to intensifying their efforts in diagnosing and treating sudden and critical illnesses in giant pandas. They pledged to remain steadfast in their mission to safeguard the health, safety, and well-being of these magnificent creatures, ensuring that such tragedies are minimized in the future.