An An, World’s Oldest Big Male Panda in Captivity, Dies at 35

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An An, a bamboo-eating resident of Hong Kong’s Ocean Park who was identified for his feisty, playful nature and who had the excellence of being the world’s oldest large male panda in captivity, died on Thursday after experiencing well being issues. He was 35 — or 105 in human years.

The loss of life, by euthanasia, was introduced by the park on its Facebook page, which mourned the lack of its “centenarian panda.”

The panda had struggled for weeks with meals consumption and bodily exercise, main park officers, veterinarians and the China Conservation and Analysis Heart for the Big Panda to place him down.

In the previous few days of his life, An An was refusing strong meals and changing into extra sedentary, officers mentioned. He consumed solely water and electrolytes, and his food regimen swayed removed from the every day consumption of 30 kilos of bamboo that enormous pandas usually eat.

Dr. Paolo Martelli, director of veterinary providers at Ocean Park, carried out the process at An An’s park residence, the Hong Kong Jockey Membership Sichuan Treasures.

An An arrived in Hong Kong in 1999 with a feminine companion, Jia Jia. The Guinness World Records listed her in 2015 because the oldest large panda in captivity. She died in 2016 on the age of 38.

The life spans of pandas within the wild usually fall between 14 and 20 years. Pandas in captivity not often make it past 30. However there are exceptions. In 2020, Xin Xing, a large panda who resided at Chongqing Zoo in southwestern China and was well-known for scarfing down as much as 70 kilos of meals every day, died at 38. One yr for pandas is equal to roughly three for people, in line with an Ocean Park conversion.

Whereas large pandas have been listed as an endangered species in 1990 by the Worldwide Union for the Conservation of Nature, the group reclassified the bears as “susceptible” in 2016. As of final yr, there have been about 1,800 large pandas within the wild in China and 500 in captivity worldwide.

There are issues concerning the conservation of the animals due to the destruction of their pure habitats, together with the Yangtze Basin area in China, from infrastructure growth, forest misplaced and local weather change.

Whereas the Chinese language authorities has made restoration efforts to protect the pandas’ pure habitats and has dozens of panda reserves throughout the nation, safety covers solely half of their ecosystems, in line with the World Wildlife Fund.

Because the information of An An’s loss of life unfold, an outpouring of condolences flowed on-line from the general public. The chairman of the Ocean Park Company, Paulo Pong, additionally mourned the loss, saying in a information launch on Thursday that An An had “introduced us fond recollections with quite a few heartwarming moments. His cleverness and playfulness might be dearly missed.”

In 2020, Hong Kong’s Ocean Park drew world consideration when two of its different pandas, Ying Ying and Le Le, each 14 on the time, succeeded at mating naturally after a number of unsuccessful makes an attempt since 2010. The park had shut down as a part of Hong Kong’s makes an attempt to struggle the coronavirus, leaving it freed from the same old throngs of gawkers and, maybe, granting the animals some privateness to mate.

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