Aug. 23, 2012 -- The Berlin Zoo's panda, Bao Bao, has died at the age of 34. Bao Bao was the oldest panda in captivity, having been gifted to West Germany by China in 1980. The acuase of death is unknown, though the Zoo reports the panda had notciably declined in recent months. The zoo will perform an autopsy.
Bao Bao was the Berlin Zoo's only panda. He was presented to the people of Germany in during a state visit by Hua Geofeng in 1980. The panda was one of a pair, but Tjen Tjen died in 1984 without giving birth. Panda mating is extremely difficult as females are only fertile for a short period each year. Bao Bao traveled extensively as the zoo attempted to find him a mate. In the early 90s, Bao Bao was loaned to the London Zoo, but mating attempts failed with their female panda Ming Ming.