A pair of popular pandas, which were mother and daughter, have died from illnesses five days apart from each other in China.
Both bears started to vomit and suffer from stomach ache at the end of December before passing away less than 10 days later at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park.
Post-mortem examinations showed the mother, Guo Guo, aged 21, had died of acute pancreatitis and organ failure; while her five-month-old daughter, Peanut, had died of massive intestinal necrosis and organ failure.
Seriously ill: Peanut was undergoing treatment after falling ill on December 23 (pictured). Her symptoms included vomiting, stomach ache and significant mucus in her stools
Peanut was diagnosed with a twisted bowel and an operation was given to her on December 29 in a bid to save her. She died on December 31
Sad: A pair of mother-daughter pandas have died from illnesses five days apart in Shanghai
Peanut the cub: The baby panda died of massive intestinal necrosis on December 31. The above picture was taken when she was two months old last September
According to a statement released by Shanghai Wild Animal Park, Guo Guo fell sick on December 19. Apart from vomiting, she suffered from a fever, stomach ache and diarrhoea. Veterinarians also found significant mucus in her stools.
She was put under quarantine immediately on December 19 and received medical treatment. However, Guo Guo’s condition worsened on December 22 as she started to suffer from convulsions.
Guo Guo died on the morning of December 26.
After Guo Guo became ill, panda keepers started to bottle-feed Peanut with human breast milk to prevent cross infection.
However, the cub got sick at around 6pm on December 23 at 175 days old, the wild animal park said. Weighing 1.6 stone (22 pounds), the baby panda vomited and had stomach ache.
She also had significant mucus in her stools.
Veterinarians from Shanghai Wild Animal Park and China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda teamed up with experts from Children’s Hospital of Fudan University and Shanghai Animal Disease Control Centre to plan treatment for Peanut.
Both pandas passed away at the end of last December in Shanghai Wild Animal Park (pictured)
The mother panda, Guo Guo died of acute pancreatitis on December 26. She was seen cuddling Peanut in the picture (left) taken last September. Right, Peanut was having her health checked when she turned two months old
Peanut, the first panda born in Shanghai, went outdoors for the first time on November 4, 2016
A zoo keeper took care of Peanut as she left her enclosure for the first time last November
A CT scan was carried out on December 29 which showed that Peanut had suffered from massive intestinal necrosis caused by a twisted bowel.
An operation was given to Peanut on the same day to remove the affected bowel, which was 31 inches long.
Despite the treatment, the cub died at around noon on December 31.
Post-mortem examinations were conducted on January 17, according to the park.
Although the two pandas died at the end of last year, their deaths were only announced by the park on January 19.
A spokesman of the park told a reporter of Xinmin.cn that they had not announced the news earlier because they had wanted to investigate the causes of their deaths.
The same spokesman stressed that the two pandas’ illnesses and deaths were not related to each other.
According to Xinmin.cn, the corpses of the two pandas are being frozen and kept at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park.
Peanut was the first panda cub to have been born in Shanghai.
Last November, the adorable animal melted the hearts of millions after she was filmed learning to walk at four months old.
An incredibly cute video, shared by People’s Daily Online on YouTube, showed the baby bear carefully moving around by herself before her mother, Guo Guo, intervened to show her the ropes.
Peanut had her chest measured by a keeper at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park on September 9
The panda was named ‘peanut’ after the name won a poll organised by the park
Peanut was born on July 9, 2016. The name Peanut, or ‘Hua Sheng’ in Chinese, was chosen last September after winning a poll organised by the park and participated by around 50,000 people.
According to the park, they chose the name ‘Hua Sheng’ because it meant ‘to take root, to grow and to breed’.
A set of photos posted by Xinhua showed the baby girl enjoying her first outdoor playtime on November 4.
Amusingly, the cub greeted the photographer by waving her paws at the camera as she chilled out on the grass for the first time.
The animal is considered to be a national icon by the Chinese and is raised with extreme care.
According to the statistics released by China’s Forestry Bureau in 2015, there were 1,864 pandas living in the wild and 375 pandas living in captivity in China.