Who is BaSi? BaSi(Ba Si) is a giant panda the age of 35, Ba Si’s age is equivalent to that of a human centenarian and she is the oldest living panda in Mainland China and world’s second oldest living giant panda.
Ba Si’s life is nothing short of legendary as she has amassed an impressive curriculum vitae over the course of her lifetime. In 1990, she became the mascot of the Beijing Asian Games as the image of giant panda Pan Pan. At the advanced age 0f30, Ba Si also participated in recording TV programs for the Guangzhou Asian Games.
As the Ambassador for Peace, Ba Si lived in the United States for half a year and garnered countless fans abroad.This notable giant panda lived through many adventures as well, though it may be surprising to learn just how many disasters Ba Si also experienced in her extraordinary life. Amazingly she survived death on3 different occasions.In earlier 1980s, Sichuan province suffered bamboo Dowering and subsequent die-off of many varieties of bamboo. Since Sichuan is a natural habitat for giant pandas, this was nothing short of a catastrophe for these animals that depend on bamboo for sustenance. At the age of 4, a starving Ba Si fell into an icy river, the Basi Ditch, as she searched desperately for food on the slope. Fortunately Li Xingyu, a local woman, and others living in Baoxing county of Sichuan province rescued hen.
Almost two decades later in July 2002, 23year-old Ba Si fell into a coma after suffering a blood vessel rupture in her nasal mucosa due to high blood pressure. After remaining in a coma for a week, she recovered due to expert veterinary treatment. That same year she also underwent cataract surgery This was the first successful giant panda cataract surgery in China and filled a void in giant panda veterinary history.
In June 2010, newly 30 year-old Ba Si suffered a sudden acute pancreatitis and after 8 days and snifts of immense pain, she recovered thanks to treatments from the professional staff.
In 2015, Ba Si celebrated her 356 birthday .In a celebration called “Dear Friends, Ba Si Calls You Home”, multiple people involved in the important moments ofBa Si’s life gathered together in Fuzhou and reviewed the moving stories of how her life and theirs had intertwined.
Chen Yucun, the director of Fuzhou Panda World, is regarded as Ba Si’s ‘father”. Since 1984,he has traveled to Beijing three times to apply fora giant panda from the State Forestry Bureau and fully succeeded. With hair gradually changing from black to white, Chen Yucun has cared for Ba Si for 31 years. At the age of 73, he still works hard for Ba Si and is not considering retirement. In his eyes, Ba Si is everything.
Shi beining became Ba Si’s keeper in 1990.
After 25 years of companionship, Shi is like a “sister” to Ba Si who has come to rely upon her for so much. Over the years, Shi has spent many long nights watching over Ba Si, sometimes developing dark circles of exhaustion under her own eyes that resemble the black patches on her giant panda charge.
Chen Dayuan, an expert from the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Science, succeeded in transferring some of Ba Si’s cells into the egg cells of a rabbit with the intention of one day being able to implant into a host animal’s uterus for gestation. This achievement was hailed as one of Chinas Top 10 Scientific and Technological Progressions of 1999. Chen became known as Ba Si’s “grandpa”. Chen Xiaoling and Qu Meilin, two of Ba Si’s “sisters”J both work as her keepers. One lives in Taiwan and the other currently lives in the United States. On hearing of Ba Si’s birthday celebration, they both came quickly back to join the celebration.
Georgeanne Irvine, an overseas “sister” to Ba Si, also came for the party. In 1987, Ba Si went to America for exhibition. As a staff member working in the Public Relations Department of the San Diego Zoo, Irvine was responsible for the reception and publicity during Ba Si’s stay at the zoo. She wrote the book “The Fuzhou Panda” in the United States over 28 Years ago and she brought a copy with her to the birthday event.
Ba Si’s veterinary team was also in attendance.Dressed in military uniforms, the doctors arrived from the Fuzhou General Hospital of Nanjing Military Region. They diagnosed the first case of hypertension in a giant panda and removed the first case of giant panda cataracts. Among them, HouJianping, the director of the electrocardiogrm2 room, has been involved in Ba Si’s veterinary treatments since she arrived at Fuzhou. She witnessed Ba Si’s dramatic medical situations and recoveries on several occasions.
Cui Xuezhen, Ba Si’s “uncle came for her birthday as well. He once sewed as director of the Forestry Bureau in Baoxing county and director of the Fengtongzhai Nature Reserve. Cui graduated from Beijing Forestry University in 1969 and has spent his career protecting wild giant pandas in Baoxing for over 30 years. He authored a book about giant panda rescue work called “Panda Document”, and Ba Si is the 3N1 main character.When he first met Ba Si after Li Xingyu rescued her from the river, he calculated Ba Si’s age using her growth and development markers.
Among Ba Si’s human relatives and”giant panda mama”, Li Xingyu was most remarkable. From Chen Yucun’s point of view,there would be no legendary story ofBa Si without Li’s brave actions that day when she jumped into the icy river to rescue the young panda. People were curious about why Li Xingyu named the panda Ba Si. Actually the name choice was quite simple. Ba Si was rescued from the Basi Ditch in 1984 and was then named after it. Furthermore, the pronunciation of”Ba Si” in Sichuan dialect carries a more nuanced meaning of satisfaction and appreciation. Li Xingyu never expected that the panda she rescued would be renowned the world over. In order to celebrate her “daughter’s” birthday the older lady traveled from Sichuan despite some physical limitations in her legs.
Liu Zhongren, a famous artist, also attended.Before the Beijing Asian Games in 1990, Li Zhongren designed the mascot of the games, a panda named Pan Pan. Pictures ofBa Si served as the model for his artwork. Stretching his thumb up, holding the medal of the Beijing Asian Games, smiling and running, Pan Pan became a famous star in China.
Friends from Beijing, Shenzhen, Chongqing,Chengdu, Harbin, Shanghai] Hong Kong,Macau and Taiwan all came for Ba Si’s 35th birthday celebration.