World's oldest male panda dies after equivalent of 100 human years

Comes just months after oldest female also passed away

Jon Sharman
Wednesday 28 December 2016 18:00
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Jia Jia, the world oldest panda, died in October aged 38 - seven years older than Pan Pan
Jia Jia, the world oldest panda, died in October aged 38 - seven years older than Pan Pan

The world's oldest male panda, whose descendants total a quarter of the world's captive-bred pandas, has died in China at the equivalent human age of 100.

Pan Pan, which lived in China's south-west Sichuan province, died aged 31. Officials will carry out an autopsy though the death was not deemed suspicious.

Tan Chengbin, a keeper at the China Conservation and Research Centre for Giant Panda in Dujiangyan, told the Xinhua news agency: "Pan Pan was the equivalent to about 100 human years, but he had been living with cancer and his health had deteriorated in the past three days. He had lost consciousness."

Pan Pan was born in the wild in 1985, but lived in captivity after a few months. He became known as "panda grandpa" and, at his death, had more than 130 descendants, Straits Times reported.

Towards the end of his life he suffered from cataracts and poor teeth.

The giant panda, for years a symbol of the conservation movement, was declared no longer endangered.

After its population was estimated to have grown by more than 16 per cent in just over a decade, the International Union for Conservation of Nature upgraded its status to “vulnerable”.

The world's oldest panda, Jia Jia, a female, died in Hong Kong aged 38 in October.

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