An An, world’s oldest male panda in captivity, dies at 35

The giant panda was a gift from the Chinese government to Hong Kong in 1999, and was kept at a theme park.

Panda An An seen munching on bamboo at Ocean Park in Hong Kong, China.
An An was put down after he stopped eating. He was 35 [File: Anthony Wallace/AFP]

An An, the world’s oldest male giant panda in captivity, has died at the age of 35, the equivalent of 105 years old for a human.

Ocean Park, the Hong Kong theme park where the panda lived, said An An’s health had been declining in recent weeks and he had been eating less. The panda was put down by a veterinarian on Thursday morning after he stopped eating altogether.

“Ocean Park is deeply saddened to announce the loss of An An,” it said in a statement on its website.

An An was a gift from the Chinese government and had been at the park since 1999. Jia Jia, the female panda who was given to Ocean Park with An An, died in 2016 when she was 38.

“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.”

Paulo Pong, chairman of Ocean Park Corporation, said An An’s “cleverness and playfulness” would be dearly missed and the park would be opening a condolence book.

Ocean Park, which houses a variety of animals including walruses, penguins and dolphins, still has two giant pandas, Ying Ying and Le Le, which were given to Hong Kong in 2007.

Source: Al Jazeera