“An An” the Panda Dies at Age 35
By: Jingwei Zhao
An An, previous holder of the oldest panda in captivity, has died at age 35. One year for a panda is around three years for a human, so An An was 105 years old. He resided at the Hong Kong Ocean Park and had a playful personality.
However, in his last weeks, An An’s health was in a terrible position. Despite support from veterinarians, he would struggle with eating and exercising. Only days before his death, An An would not eat solid foods. Instead, he only drank water and ate electrolytes, which was far less from the 30 pounds of bamboo that he normally ate.
Xin Xing and Jia Jia are pandas that have both lived up to 38 years. Those ages are extreme since most pandas that are held captive live to 14-20 years old. This is also a big loss as pandas are now considered vulnerable. There are only 1,800 left in this world and 500 are held in captivity. Despite the Chinese government’s efforts to keep pandas alive, their protection can only cover half of the pandas’ ecosystem.
Paulo Pong, chairman of the Ocean Park Corporation, stated that An An “brought us fond memories with numerous heartwarming moments. His cleverness and playfulness will be dearly missed.” However, coronavirus has let the animals of the park mate in peace as the visitors are not allowed to be there.