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The world’s oldest male panda in captivity has died aged 35.
En An – whose name translates to peace – was transferred to the Ocean Park theme park in Aberdeen, Hong Kong, from China in 1999.
His age would have been around 12 at the time.
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En An was paired with a female panda named Jia Jia, who lived to be the world’s oldest female panda in captivity. She died in 2016 at the age of 38, according to the Associated Press.
Although An An’s exact birthday is not clear, records show that he was born in 1986 in Sichuan, China.
He originally lived in Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan’s Wenchuan County until he was transferred to Ocean Park.
An An was named the world’s oldest male panda in captivity in 2017 when he turned 31.
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Ocean Park Hong Kong released two statements about An An’s death on Facebook.
In both posts, the theme park said that An An’s age was equivalent to the age of a 105-year-old human.
“We are deeply saddened to announce the loss of centenarian panda An An, the world’s longest-living male giant panda in human care, today,” Ocean Park Hong Kong wrote.
The conservation-focused theme park said An An had a “full life that ended at a respectable age.”
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His health “deteriorated slowly but gradually over the past few weeks,” the park shared.
An An’s physical activity and food intake reportedly decreased over time.
The park said its team of veterinarians and Hong Kong’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation consulted the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.
It was decided that euthanasia would be a “humane endpoint” for An An. The procedure was carried out at An An’s residence – The Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures – on 21 July 2022 at 08.40
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“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 both locals and tourists,” wrote Ocean Park Hong Kong. “We want to express our gratitude to An An for all the wonderful things he brought to the people of Hong Kong and our visitors from around the world, as he was a true ambassador of conservation and educational messages.”
Ocean Park Hong Kong welcomes visitors to sign condolence books at An An’s former residence.
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For people unable to visit, the park also created a tribute space under a pinned post on Ocean Park Hong Kong’s Facebook page.