Choking panda's 'mystery' illness cured by surgery

  • 28 December 2012

A 12-year-old giant panda was rescued by a team of doctors at a hospital in China after choking on some steamed cornbread.

The panda was taken to hospital by his breeder when he started vomiting on 21 December.

Doctors had to do at least six different types of medical tests to figure out what was making him ill.

Giant pandas are an endangered species, and are the rarest member of the bear family.

Happily recovered

Doctors at the hospital in Fuzhou in eastern China did a radioscopy (a special kind of x-ray), a blood test and an ultrasound on the panda, but still could not find out what was wrong.

It was only when they gave a him a special examination called a gastroscopy, where they put a camera on a tube down into his stomach, that they found the steamed cornbread stuck in his throat.

After two hours in the operating room, doctors were able to take out the cornbread.

The panda is now happily recovered at the Panda House nature reserve in China, where he'll hopefully be sticking to a healthier diet of bamboo!