The world bids farewell to the oldest captive male giant panda, An An, who at 35 years old had to be euthanized following a period of deteriorating health. Cared for at Ocean Park in Hong Kong, where he first arrived back in 1999, An An reached a respectable age for a panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), who in the wild are estimated to live between 14 and 20 years.
“Ocean Park is deeply saddened to announce the loss of An An, the world’s longest-living male giant panda under human care, on 21 July 2022,” said Ocean Park Hong Kong in a statement. “An An lived a full life that ended at the respectable age of 35 – the equivalent of 105 years in human age.”
The world’s oldest female captive panda on record was Jia Jia, who lived to be 38 years old before passing in 2016. Both she and An An were gifts from the Chinese government and arrived at the park as companions.
“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 Ocean Park Corporation, in a statement. “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.”
“An An is an indispensable member of our family and has grown together with the Park… [he] has brought us fond memories with numerous heart-warming moments. His cleverness and playfulness will be dearly missed.”
“I am thankful to the Park’s animal and veterinary teams for watching over An An around the clock during his final hours. We are certain that the Park’s patrons will join us in paying our final homage to our beloved An An…”