July 22, 2022
HONG KONG – An An, the world’s longest-living male giant panda under human care, died Thursday morning in its home at Ocean Park aged 35.
Ocean Park Hong Kong said on its social media account that An An’s health had deteriorated slowly but progressively in the past few weeks with a severe decrease in physical activities and food intake.
Since this long-living panda duo’s arrival at Ocean Park in 1999, they have supported the Park’s endeavors in promoting nature and ecosystems to visitors as its ambassadors.
Paolo Pong, chairman of Ocean Park Corporation
“His condition reached a humane endpoint that based on animal welfare reasons, veterinarians from Ocean Park and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department made the difficult decision to perform the procedure of humane euthanasia on An An after consulting the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda,” the park said.
The procedure was performed at about 8:40 am at An An’s residence in The Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures, according to the theme park which displays animals including walruses, penguins and dolphins.
“An An lived a full life that ended at the respectable age of 35 – the equivalent of 105 years old in human age.”
In a separate statement, Chairman of Ocean Park Corporation Paolo Pong expressed gratitude to An An for promoting conservation.
“Since this long-living panda duo’s arrival at Ocean Park in 1999, they have supported the Park’s endeavors in promoting nature and ecosystems to visitors as its ambassadors,” said Pong.
The Hong Kong government expressed its sadness over An An’s death in a statement.
A spokesman for the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau said An An had brought Hong Kong people many fond memories over the past 23 years.
The bureau expressed gratitude to Ocean Park for taking good care of An An throughout the years. It also thanked experts from the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda for their continued support.
An An was one of the two giant pandas the central government gifted to Hong Kong in 1999 to mark the second anniversary of the city’s return to the motherland.
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
Ocean Park said the pair had been regarded as nature and ecosystem ambassadors and had been loved by visitors from around the world.
“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,” according to the park.
In 2016, the other giant panda Jia Jia died at 38.
Ocean Park will host condolence books at An An’s residence. Those who are unable to visit in person could leave their condolences in the comment section of Ocean Park’s official Facebook page to pay tribute to An An.
The theme park now has two giant pandas, Ying Ying and Le Le.
“An An and Jia Jia’s mission will be furthered by giant pandas Ying Ying and Le Le residing at Giant Panda Adventure,” Pong added.
The central government gave the female Ying Ying and male Le Le to Hong Kong in 2007 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. The park has been hoping that the pair could have babies but they have not so far.
Giant pandas in the wild typically live about 20 years on average, and the lifespans of those under human care can reach 30 years.