Remembering Lang Lang 郎郎

Filed in Stress Busters

It was September 2007 and I was on my first volunteering trip at the Wolong Panda Base. I would also be visiting my adopted panda, Feng Yi, for the first time.

As an adopter, I would be allowed to go into the kindergarten yard to spend some time with her. Photos of our first meeting have been used in the media in articles about the two of us ahead of her relocation to Malaysia in 2014.

After hanging out with her in the yard, I asked to have my photo taken with her, something of an official portrait like what I’ve seen on the Flickr website. While my request was granted, I was told I couldn’t have that “official” portrait with her because she was not allowed to leave the yard. I was told if she was let out, she would continue to walk away from the door, resist all attempts to stop her, and literally not look back. Instead, I was offered another cub to sit on the bench with me. That was when I met Lang Lang. Here are our photos together.

This photo appeared on the Pandas International web site.

I looked a little “droopy” here but he was looking at the camera!

Over the years, I would sit for photos with other panda cubs, but Lang Lang was my first panda photo buddy.

These photos are less well-known than the ones with Feng Yi from 2007. I did write a blog post about the last photo from the series with Lang Lang, one so different from the others, and so special, that I called the blog post Holding Paws with a Panda Cub.

Lang Lang went on to be voted as one of eight cubs chosen to go to the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. He and his twin Cui Cui were one of two pairs of twins in the Olympic 8. After their time in Beijing, the eight were sent to Bifengxia Panda Base in April 2009, the Wolong Base having been extensively damaged during the May 12 earthquake in 2008. Soon after, Lang Lang, Cui Cui and Duo Duo, another Olympic 8 cub, were chosen to go to live in Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo.

On 9 November 2010, Lang Lang suffered from a seizure and was diagnosed with epilepsy. His condition stabilised after treatment and he began drinking and eating as normal on 16 November. Unfortunately, he suffered another seizure on 1 December and was in a coma for more than two weeks until he died on 16 December 2010. (Source: Lang Lang dies at Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo)

Lang Lang was born on 25 August 2006 to Ye Ye, the older of her pair of twins that year. He would’ve been 12 today. He is one of five cubs from the 2006 birth year not to have survived to see their 12th year. His twin Cui Cui made him an uncle in 2016 and again, in 2017.

RIP, Lang Lang (25 August 2006 – 16 December 2010).

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