At Chongqing Zoo, Xin Xing lived a seemingly carefree life, lounging in a bear-sized pool in the summer and eating seven meals a day.
Her 28-year-old caretaker Zhang Naicheng told China Daily in August: “When she was younger, she ate faster and a lot more than other pandas.”
The panda was also prone to tantrums when she was young, he told China News Service in 2018. “Xin Xing was quite hot-headed back then,” he said. “She was pretty wild among the pandas. Now that she’s old, she’s more docile and less easy to provoke. “
On her 38th birthday, in August, the zookeepers presented her with a large ice cube with watermelon slices, apple wedges and trimmings of bamboo leaves. Children sang to her from afar.
Xin Xing celebrated the Chinese New Year with four wobbly boys, including two great-grandchildren, Xi Xi and Qing Qing, at the Chongqing Zoo.
Xin Xing’s parents could not be identified, and her male companion, Chuan Chuan, died in 2010. Her survivors, too many to name, include a son, Le Le, at the Memphis Zoo; a grandson, Tuan Tuan, at the Taipei Zoo; a granddaughter, Er Shun, who recently returned to China from the Calgary Zoo; and their great-grand boys Jia Panpan, Jia Yueyue, Yuan Zai and Yuan Bao.
As Xin Xing got older and her temper waned, her bond with her caretaker grew stronger, the zoo said. In her final years, Mr. Zhang moved to a room 20 meters from her enclosure to watch over her at night. To protect their aging teeth, he reduced bamboo shoots and fed them with the peeled stems and tender leaves.