n An, the world’s longest-living male giant 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 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.
Continue reading: What It’s Like to Take Care of History-Making Panda Cubs
Researchers believe giant pandas kept in captivity can live up to 30 years longer than wild pandas.
An An, his companion Jia Jia and a female giant panda, died at the age of 38 in 2016. They were gifted by Hong Kong’s central Chinese government in 1999. Ocean Park is home to two other giant pandas: Ying Ying, and Le Le.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are more than 1,800 giant pandas remaining in nature. Their population is under threat from poaching and forest loss. These giant pandas can be found in the mountains of south-central China in Sichuan and Gansu provinces.
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