Ling Ling, a male giant panda at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo, died of chronic heart failure early Wednesday morning at 22 years and seven months old, equivalent to about 70 human years, the zoo said. ''He was lying on his back as he died, giving the impression that he had lived a full life,'' Ueno Zoo curator Teruyuki Komiya told a press conference. ''It was a peaceful death as it did not look like he had suffered.''
According to the zoo, Ling Ling was the fifth oldest male among pedigree-registered pandas in the world. Ling Ling, born in Beijing Zoo in China in 1985, was the only giant panda in Japan that belonged to Japan. There are a total of eight pandas in the country, but they all belong to China. He died just after the zoo withdrew him from public view on Tuesday at the start of Japan's Golden Week holiday season, explaining that he had suffered decreased heart and kidney functions due to old age and would be undergoing intensive care.© Japan Today