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Wednesday, 30th April 2008
In General Japan News,

Ueno Zoo says goodbye to Ling Ling

Staff at Tokyo's Ueno Zoological Gardens have bid farewell to Ling Ling after the giant male panda passed away during early Wednesday morning.

The 22-year-old panda, around 70 years old in panda years, had been taken off public view on Tuesday for veterinary treatment after he became less responsive.

"He was lying on his back as he died, giving the impression that he had lived a full life," Ueno Zoo curator Teruyuki Komiya was quoted as saying by Japan Today.

"It was a peaceful death as it did not look like he had suffered."

Ling Ling was sent to Ueno Zoo in 1992 after being born in Beijing Zoo in September 1985. He was the only giant panda out of a total of nine in the country which Japan owned outright.

Ueno Zoo, which opened in 1882, is the oldest zoo in Japan and currently houses over 2600 animals from 464 different species.