SHANGHAI, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- A 54-year-old Asian elephant Banna who has been living in the Shanghai Zoo for 46 years passed away quietly on Sunday, stirring mourning by animal lovers who had shared good times with this old friend.
Named after its hometown, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Yunnan Province, the elephant was regarded by many people as one of the animal stars in Shanghai.
As a senior inhabitant of the zoo, the wild female elephant first moved to Shanghai at the beginning of the 1970s and gave birth to eight baby elephants, the highest number of offspring bred by Asian elephant in Chinese zoos.
"We all hoped that Banna could have lived a longer life, she is a close friend of us," said Sha Bingfu, supervisor of the zoo's herbivore team, adding that other Asian elephants now in Shanghai Zoo are in good condition.
Over the past four decades living in the city, Banna has brought laughter and joyful memories to generations of local people and visitors.
"Thanks for having been to our world and life," reads a comment to Banna's obituary published by zoo's official Sina Weibo account. Many Weibo comments also suggest building a statue for the old friend.