An An, the world’s oldest male giant panda in captivity, has died at the age of 35 in Ocean Park in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong.
The theme park announced that the animal, whose age would be equivalent to 105 human years, was euthanized after its health deteriorated in recent weeks.
“Unfortunately, but as expected, An An’s condition came to an end on July 21, 2022,” Ocean Park reported in a press release.
During the last few days, when refused to eat solid food and drank only water or fluids with electrolytes, the panda was mostly inactive and the park staff had to give him medical attention to alleviate his discomfort. An An had high blood pressure, a common condition among geriatric pandas. For the past three weeks, the panda has been kept out of sight of park visitors as its health has deteriorated.
Last week, hundreds left comments on an Ocean Park post about An An’s condition, wishing her a speedy recovery.
“An An has brought us fond memories with many heartwarming moments. His intelligence and playful nature of him will be sorely missed,” Ocean Park Corporation President Paulo Pong stated in the statement.
An An lived most of his life in the theme park after he and his companion, the panda Jia Jia, were gifted to Hong Kong by China in 1999, as part of the Chinese government’s panda diplomacy that this 2022 turns 50 years old. He had been born in the wild in mainland China.
Jia Jia, meanwhile, passed away at the age of 38 in 2016, making her the oldest female panda in captivity to date.
After Jia Jia’s death, her partner lived a rather lonely life and in 2021 celebrated his 35th birthday alone with a frozen fruit and bamboo cake prepared for him by park employees.
(with information from EFE, AP and AFP)
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