Beloved Panda Killed by Accidental Gassing: China

Quan Quan, mother of 7, inhaled chlorine and carbon monoxide
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2010 6:42 PM CDT
A file photo of a giant panda, though not Quan Quan.   (AP Photo/Adelaide Zoo, Brian Charlton)

(Newser) – The death of one of China's most beloved panda bears has been blamed on poison gas resulting from a careless cleaning operation at the Jinan Zoo, the LA TImes reports. Quan Quan, a 21-year-old panda who'd given birth to 7 cubs, inhaled carbon monoxide and chlorine, both of which were used when a former air raid shelter was being disinfected.

The shelter is connected to Quan Quan's living area through the ventilation system, party officials in charge of the zoo said. The death of what the Times calls one of "China's national treasures" is big news there and is raising a storm of criticism about care of the animals. "Who's taking responsibility for this accident?" reads one post on eastday.com, a Shanghai news site. "What about the officials? There hasn't been any mention of the officials involved. Will any of them step up and take the blame?"

(Read more panda stories.)

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