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Ling-Ling & Hsing-Hsing
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Animals
    (1970-December 30, 1992)
    Ling-Ling (female; 1969-December 30, 1992)
    Hsing-Hsing (pronounced 'Sing-Sing' - male; 1970-November 28, 1999)
    Donated by the People's Republic of China to President Richard Nixon and the United States (April 16, 1972)
    Mating pair of giant pandas were a gesture of friendship and goodwill between Cold War nations to commemorate Nixon's historic 1972 peacemaking visit
    Resided at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
    Ling-Ling died of a heart attack at age 23½
    Hsing-Hsing was euthanized due to progressive kidney disease at age 28½
    They were part of a peace mission, yet arrived in the U.S. under armed guard.
    Ling-Ling was extroverted. Hsing-Hsing was introverted.
    Hsing-Hsing was a picky eater, often refusing bamboo (which makes up 90% of giant panda diets).
    They were 5 time parents (through natural and artificial means), but none of their cubs survived more than a few days.
    Pandas are solitary by nature, so Hsing-Hsing didn't seem to care that Ling-Ling died.
    Both their skin and skeletal remains are in the National History Museum in Washington, D.C.
    The U.S. hadn't had a panda for two decades before their arrival.
    When Ling-Ling rejected Hsing-Hsing's advances the National Zoo borrowed a panda from the London Zoo to mate with her. She spurned him and suddenly warmed up to Hsing-Hsing.
    Ling-Ling nearly died in 1983 from a severe kidney infection and anemia. She was treated successfully with antibiotics.
    The zoo had little recorded information on giant panda biology before their arrival. Since then the zoo has written over 45 scientific publications on giant pandas.
    Over 75 million people visited them.
    Ling-Ling lived longer than any other zoo panda outside China.
    Hsing-Hsing then broke that record by 7 years.
    Neither wore bling-bling (I know, corny).

Credit: Scar Tactics


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