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An An, world’s oldest male giant panda, dies in Hong Kong at age 35

Hong Kong (CNN) — An An, the world’s oldest male giant panda in captivity, died Thursday following well being issues at age 35.

The panda was euthanized to stop additional struggling, Hong Kong’s Ocean Park stated in an announcement. His “cleverness and playfulness” could be dearly missed, the park’s chairman Paulo Pong stated.(*35*)

An An was gifted to the theme park 23 years in the past by the Chinese central authorities, together with Jia Jia, a feminine believed to be the world’s oldest ever giant panda earlier than her loss of life in 2016 at age 38.

The pair had been seen by hundreds of thousands of vacationers and schoolchildren through the years, lots of whom posted their reminiscences of An An on-line Thursday in images and movies.

A panda’s common life span in the wild is 14-20 years, however they’ll dwell far longer in captivity, based on wildlife conservationists World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Pong stated that An An’s survival past the common life expectancy demonstrates the theme park’s ongoing dedication to giant pandas.

The theme park nonetheless homes two different giant pandas — feminine Ying Ying and male Le Le — which had been gifted by the Chinese authorities in 2007.

China has spent half a century making an attempt to spice up the inhabitants of its iconic animals, creating sprawling panda reserves throughout a number of mountain ranges in an effort to save lots of them from extinction.

Giant pandas are notoriously laborious to breed in captivity, however after years of decline, their numbers in the wild have elevated in current years.

In 2017 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) upgraded the species from “endangered” to “vulnerable” after their inhabitants grew practically 17% over the earlier decade. That transfer was mirrored by the Chinese authorities final yr after the wild giant panda population elevated to 1,800. (*35*)

In China, pandas are thought-about an umbrella species, which suggests specialists consider measures to guard them will assist shield different species, in addition to the bigger ecosystem.

(*35*)

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