n An, the world’s longest-living giant male panda in captivity, was euthanized on Thursday at the age of 35—the equivalent of 105 years in human age—according to a statement issued by the Hong Kong theme park where he had been kept.
Ocean Park—a 91.5 hectare oceanarium, zoo, and amusement park located on the southern part of Hong Kong island—said the animal had been showing signs of declining health. He stopped eating and was less active.
“Ocean Park provided medical care to alleviate the geriatric giant panda’s discomfort,” the statement said. “Unfortunately but as expected, An An’s condition reached a humane endpoint.” Veterinarians from the park and Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department decided to put the panda to death on Thursday morning.
Paulo Pong, chairman of Ocean Park Corporation, said that the An An was “an indispensable member of our family” and that his legacy showed the park’s commitment to “best-in-class husbandry and medical care” for giant pandas.
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Scientists think giant pandas living in captivity have a longer lifespan than the wild. They live for about 30% more time, compared with the average of 15-20 years in the wild.
An An and Jia Jia were given by the central Chinese government in 1999 to Hong Kong. Ocean Park also houses Le Le and Ying Ying giant pandas.
As their numbers are decreasing due to poaching and forest destruction, the World Wildlife Fund estimates that there are approximately 1,800 giant pandas still living in the wild. You can find them in mountains in central China’s Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi regions.
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