Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 23rd, 2008
Giant pandas are one of the “classic animals of discovery” in cryptozoology.
Taotao, at 36, China’s oldest captive panda and the enduring favorite of millions of visitors to Shandong Province’s Jinan Zoo, died Wednesday, May 22, 2008, following a battle against old age and illness, China News Service reported.
Only a few weeks ago, it will be recalled, Tokyo’s popular giant panda, Ling-Ling, died of old age at the age of 22 years and seven months.
Taotao died from brain thrombus disease and cerebral hemorrhaging at 36, far beyond the normal life expectancy of 25 years for a panda in captivity. She had been in declining health since the disease was discovered in February of this year.
Taotao was born in the wilderness of northwestern China’s Gansu Province, and was brought to Jinan Zoo in October 1994. Despite her prolonged stay in the zoo, she never gave birth in captivity.
Jinan Zoo has reportedly accorded Taotao the title of “ambassador of harmonious zoology.” Her remains will be sent back to Gansu Province so she can rest in peace there.
About 200 pandas currently live in captivity around the world, but the animals are native only to China.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.