An An, the world's oldest male giant panda, dies at 35 — rest in peace

An An, the world’s oldest male giant panda, dies at 35 — rest in peace

Some animals are blessed with long lives, exceeding the life expectancy for their species. Some even break records as the oldest of their kind in the world. These long-living creatures often become favorites among locals, who get to visit them decade after decade.

Sadly, one of these animals passed away yesterday: An An, the oldest male giant panda in the world, died at the age of 35.

【大熊貓安安離世 享年35歲】公園以哀痛心情宣布,「百歲熊瑞」— 大熊貓安安喺今日(2022年7月21日)離開咗我哋,享年35歲,等同於人類105歲高齡,係全球喺人類照顧下最長壽嘅雄性大熊貓。…

Posted by 香港海洋公園 Ocean Park Hong Kong on Wednesday, July 20, 2022

The news comes from Ocean Park Hong Kong, where An An had lived since 1999. Giant pandas typically live about 14-20 years in the wild, though they live longer in captivity. It’s rare for giant pandas to live past 30, but An An defied all the odds.

According to Ocean Park, An An was 105 in human years. But after an incredibly long life, An An’s health began to deteriorate recently. “An An’s health deteriorated slowly but progressively in the past few weeks with a severe decrease in physical activities and food intake,” the park wrote.

As his health got worse, it was decided that it would be best to humanely euthanize An An. He passed away on July 21.

【網上弔唁冊悼念大熊貓安安精彩一生】大熊貓安安於 2022 年 7 月 21 日與世長辭,享年 35 歲(等同於人類 的 105 歲)。安安自 1999 年來到海洋公園,是人工飼養環境下全球迄今最長壽的雄性大熊貓。…

Posted by 香港海洋公園 Ocean Park Hong Kong on Wednesday, July 20, 2022

According to the New York Times, An An arrived in Hong Kong in 1999 with a female companion named Jia Jia. The female panda also broke records for her longevity: according to Guinness World Records, she was the oldest panda ever in captivity. She died in 2016 at the age of 38, or 111 in human years.

Giant pandas have long been at risk as a species. In An An’s lifetime, their numbers have improved, going from “endangered” to “vulnerable” thanks to conservation efforts, but they are still threatened by habitat loss.

After his passing, An An was remembered as a great ambassador for his species who won the hearts of park visitors for decades.

“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,” Ocean Park Hong Kong wrote.

HONG KONG, CHINA – FEBRUARY 18: Giant panda An An eats food at Hong Kong Ocean Park on February 18, 2021 in Hong Kong, China. Giant panda An An, the world’s oldest male giant panda under human care, died at the age of 35 on Thursday morning at Hong Kong Ocean Park. An An was born in China’s Sichuan Province and arrived in Hong Kong in 1999 along with a female giant panda Jia Jia as a gift from the mainland. (Photo by Li Zhihua/China News Service via Getty Images)

“We want to express our gratitude to An An for all of the wonderful things he brought the people of Hong Kong and our visitors from around the world, as he was a true ambassador of conservation and educational messaging.”

Rest in peace, An An. What an incredible and long life.

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