World’s oldest male panda in captivity dies in Hong Kong aged 35

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The world’s oldest male giant panda An An has been euthanised at the age of 35 by the authorities of the Hong Kong theme park where he lived, officials said on Thursday.

An An lived for an equivalent of 105 years of human age at the Ocean Park, the marine and animal facility, before he started showing signs of decline in his health.

Officials at the Ocean park said that the panda was showing steady signs of deterioration in his health over the past few weeks. An An’s food intake had declined to a point where he stopped eating.

According to An An’s caretakers, his activity levels had slumped over a period of time and his rest periods were also becoming increasingly longer.

Officials said they eventually decided to euthanise An An “to alleviate the geriatric panda’s discomfort”.

Born in Sichuan in China, An An was living at the prominent theme park since 1999.

An An was among the pair of two pandas gifted to Hong Kong from the Chinese government. The pair included the world’s oldest female giant panda Jia Jia, who died at the age of 38 in 2016.

Confirming the passing away of An An, the theme park said: "Ocean Park is deeply saddened to announce the loss of An An.”

Officials from the park said they were “thankful for the opportunity to take care of Jia Jia and An An as it helped Ocean Park become an important base for panda conservation”.

“An An is an indispensable member of our family and has grown together with the Park. He has also built a strong bond of friendship with locals and tourists alike," the park said in a statement.

Home to animals like walruses, penguins and dolphins, Ocean Park has two giant pandas Ying Ying and Le Le.

These two pandas, the female Ying Ying and male Le Le, were also gifted to Hong Kong by the Beijing administration in 2007.

In a setback, the pair has not had offspring, which could help Hong Kong advance its panda population as officials among the park have hoped for.

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