World’s oldest large panda ‘An An’ dies at 35

The world’s oldest male large panda died in a zoo in Hong Kong on Friday. The panda, named An An, was euthanised on the age of 35, the equal of 105 years for people.

An An panda lived most of his life at Ocean Park after he and a feminine panda have been gifted to Hong Kong by China in 1999. He and his mate Jia Jia spent the remainder of their lives in Ocean Park.

They have been a venerable pair — Jia Jia held the Guinness World Records for the oldest dwelling panda and oldest panda ever in captivity when she died on the age of 38 in 2016. After Jia Jia’s demise, her surviving mate led a reasonably solitary life — in 2021, he celebrated his thirty fifth birthday alone with a Haagen-Dazs fruit and bamboo ice cake, surrounded by plenty of handmade birthday playing cards from the Park’s workers.

Over the previous three weeks, An An had hypertension, a typical situation amongst geriatric pand as. An An had been saved out of sight from guests on the park as his well being worsened. He stopped consuming stable meals and was considerably much less energetic in latest days.

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Ocean Park mourned An An as a member of the family who grew with the park and constructed bonds with locals and vacationers.

“An An has introduced us fond reminiscences with quite a few heart-warming moments. His cleverness and playfulness shall be dearly missed,” Paulo Pong, chairman of Ocean Park Corporation, said in a statement. “An An lived a full life that ended at the respectable age of 35 – the equivalent of 105 years in human age,” the zoo mentioned in a press release.

Hong Kong was given one other panda pair –Ying Ying, a feminine, and a male, Le Le– in 2007 to have fun the tenth anniversary of town’s return to China.

China generally engages in “panda diplomacy” where the mammals exclusively found in China are leased to other countries as a sign of goodwill.

A panda’s average life span in the wild is 14-20 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund. They are notoriously bad at reproducing, especially in captivity. Pandas are categorised as “weak” by WWF with a record of 1,864 living in the wild.

(With agencies input)

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