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Ruth Harkness returns to the United States with Su-Lin.
Su-Lin ( ) was the name given to the giant panda cub captured in 1936 and brought to America by the explorer Ruth Harkness.

Su-Lin, about 9 weeks old at the time of his capture, was named after Su-Lin Young, the sister-in-law of Harkness's expedition partner Quentin Young. Harkness translated Su-Lin as meaning "a little bit of something very cute". (Harkness and Young were unaware that the baby panda was, in fact, a male.)

Harkness returned to America with the bottle-fed cub, and Su-Lin became the first live panda to be displayed in the United States. In April 1937, the panda was purchased by Brookfield Zoomarker outside of Chicagomarker, where he was visited by such celebrities as Shirley Temple, Kermit Roosevelt, and Helen Hayes. Harkness brought a second panda, Mei-Mei, to live with Su-Lin at the zoo in February 1938. However, the two animals fought with each other, and were soon separated. Su-Lin died of pneumonia only a few weeks after Mei-Mei's arrival.

The body of the panda is now on display at the Field Museum of Natural Historymarker in Chicago.


  1. Vicki Constantine Croke. The Lady and the Panda. Random House, 2006. 129.
  2. SPatricia Sullivan. " Adelaide 'Su-Lin' Young, 96, Explorer and Panda Namesake". The Washington Post. May 22, 2008. Retrieved on November 17, 2009.
  3. " Animals: He or She?" Time. May 1, 1939. Retrieved on November 17, 2009.
  4. Andrea Frederici Ross. Let the Lions Roar. Chicago Zoological Society. 1997. 64-67.

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