Certain zoo personnel were seen wiping tears from their eyes as they stood before a display, showcasing pictures of the prestigious park’s most beloved attraction. Heaps of flowers accumulated at the entrance of the zoo’s Panda House, where heartfelt tributes were offered in memory of Lin Hui, a cherished female giant panda that was given to Thailand by China nearly twenty years ago as a symbol of friendship between the two nations.
The Panda House, adorned with life-size representations of Lin Hui, depicted her in various playful positions at her preferred spots throughout her habitat. The exhibit welcomed the public on Saturday. In addition, an exhibit featuring a plethora of Lin Hui’s photographs was established, providing an opportunity for admirers to pen condolences and pay their respects. A designated area to lay flowers within the Panda House has also been made available, enabling mourners to further honor Lin Hui’s memory.
Born in September 2001, Lin Hui spent her early days at China’s Giant Panda Research and Conservation Centre in Sichuan province. In October 2003, she and her future partner, Xuang Xuang, journeyed to the Chiang Mai Zoo in Thailand. Their arrival marked a celebratory occasion, as they symbolized the goodwill and collaboration between China and Thailand. In fact, Lin Hui and Xuang Xuang would become the parents of a significant contribution to the panda population.
The couple welcomed their daughter, Lin Bing, at the zoo in May 2009. Her arrival was historic, as she became not only the first giant panda born in Thailand, but also one of the very few pandas born in captivity outside of China. Upon reaching the age of two, Lin Bing returned to her ancestral homeland. However, tragedy struck the panda duo when Lin Hui’s companion, Xuang Xuang, passed away at the Chiang Mai Zoo in September 2019. Left behind was the heartbroken Lin Hui, who would remain as Thailand’s only giant panda until her own bittersweet departure on Wednesday.
Lin Hui’s passing yields a profound impact on the zoo, as well as the hearts of those who held her in high regard. Though she may no longer grace the grounds, her memory remains alive through the tributes, flowers, and photographs displayed in the Panda House. Her story serves as a testament to the global efforts that have been made to conserve the giant panda population and the cherished bond shared between two nations. Through her legacy, the enduring connection between China and Thailand remains ever-rooted in love and unity.