An An, world's longest-living male giant panda under human care, dies at 35 in Hong Kong

(Xinhua) 13:43, July 21, 2022

Giant panda An An [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

HONG KONG, July 21 (Xinhua) -- An An, the world's longest-living male giant panda under human care, died Thursday in Hong Kong at the age of 35, the equivalent of 105 years old in human age.

An An died after his health deteriorated in the past few weeks with a severe decrease in physical activities and food intake. The Ocean Park Hong Kong will host condolence books at An An's residence in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures.

The park said An An has brought fond memories with numerous heart-warming moments, and will be dearly missed for his cleverness and playfulness.

An An arrived in Hong Kong on March 11, 1999 together with Jia Jia, the world's longest-living female giant panda who passed away in 2016 at the grand age of 38.

An An was born in southwest China's Sichuan Province. In 1997, to celebrate the return of Hong Kong to the motherland, the central government decided to gift Jia Jia and An An from the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

The Ocean Park expressed its gratitude to the country for gifting the precious giant pandas to Hong Kong, which signifies the central government's care for the special administrative region.

"We are truly thankful for the opportunity to take care of Jia Jia and An An throughout the years so that the park could develop into an important base for panda conservation," said Paulo Pong, chairman of the Ocean Park Corporation.

Since this long-living panda duo's arrival at Ocean Park in 1999, they have supported the park's endeavours in promoting nature and ecosystems to visitors as its ambassadors, Pong said.

"An An and Jia Jia's mission will be furthered by giant pandas Ying Ying and Le Le residing at Giant Panda Adventure," Pong added, referring to a pair of giant pandas gifted to the HKSAR on the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland by the central government.

Giant pandas in the wild typically live about 20 years on average, and lifespans of those under human care can reach 30 years. 

(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Bianji)


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