Goodbye An An, the oldest male panda kept in captivity has died at 35

Goodbye An An, the oldest male panda kept in captivity has died at 35

Panda An An died in a Hong Kong zoo at the age of 35, six years after his partner Jia Jia. He was the oldest male kept in captivity.

IS died at 35 il panda An An. It was the most elderly exemplary male held in captivity holder of the longevity record for its genre. The panda, which had lived at Hong Kong's Ocean Park since 1999, was subjected to euthanasia after a period of a few weeks in which he showed progressive deterioration of his health conditions.

As indicated in a press release from the zoo, An An was eating less and less, and starting on July 17 completely stopped eating solid foods, taking only water and drinks made available to the veterinary staff. The rest periods had also lengthened considerably, a sign of the precarious state of health.

When he reached a terminal stage, veterinarians from Ocean Park and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, with the approval of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, made the painful but inevitable decision to have him euthanized.

This puts an end to his suffering. The lethal injection was performed at 8:40 am local time on 21 July by Dr. Paolo Martelli, Director of the Ocean Park Veterinary Service. The panda died at “The Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures”, the enclosure in which he has lived for the past 23 years.

An An had been donated to Hong Kong by the Chinese government together with his partner Jia Jia, who died in 2016 at the ripe old age of 38. To date, it is the longest-lived panda ever in human custody. In nature, it is believed that these wonderful animals can live on average around 20 years, while the specimens deprived of their freedom can go up to double the years.

Ocean Park indicated that An An passed away at an age equivalent to 105 years for a human being. In the statement, it was underlined that together with his partner he was an "ambassador" in promoting nature and conservation.

Not surprisingly, the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is also the symbol of WWF; despite the enormous efforts made for its protection and significant progress, it is still one today endangered species being classified as vulnerable (code VU) in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

“An An is an indispensable member of our family and grew up together with the Park. He has also built a strong bond of friendship with the locals and tourists. An An has given us good memories with numerous moving moments. We will miss him a lot, ”said Paulo Pong, President of Ocean Park Corporation.

“I am grateful to the veterinary staff and park keepers for watching An An 24 hours a day during its final hours. We are confident that the Park patrons will join us in paying our final tribute to our beloved An An who had lived far beyond the average life expectancy of his species.

Its legacy will stand as the best testament to the Park's continued commitment to providing the best breeding and medical care for giant pandas, with the China Conservation and Research Center for the Panda as an essential partner in all aspects over the years. . The mission of An An and Jia Jia will be promoted by the giant pandas Ying Ying and Le Le who are at the Giant Panda Adventure, ”concluded the executive.

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