July 22, 2022
HONG KONG – An An, the longest living male giant panda in human care, died Thursday morning at his Ocean Park home at the age of 35.
Ocean Park Hong Kong said on its social media account that An An’s health had slowly but gradually deteriorated over the past few weeks with a sharp decrease in physical activities and food intake.
Since this longtime panda duo arrived at Ocean Park in 1999, they have supported the park’s efforts to promote nature and ecosystems to visitors as ambassadors.
Paolo Pong, President of Ocean Park Corporation
“His condition has reached a humane endpoint which, for animal welfare reasons, veterinarians at Ocean Park and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation have made the difficult decision to perform the humane euthanasia procedure on An An after consulting with the Chinese Center for Conservation and Research for the Giant Panda,” the park said.
The procedure was carried out around 8:40 a.m. at An An’s residence at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures, according to the theme park which exhibits 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 in human age.”
In a separate statement, Ocean Park Corporation President Paolo Pong expressed his gratitude to An An for promoting conservation.
“Since this long-lived panda duo arrived at Ocean Park in 1999, they have supported the park’s efforts in promoting nature and ecosystems to visitors as ambassadors,” Pong said.
The Hong Kong government expressed sadness over An An’s death in a statement.
A spokesperson for the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau said An An has brought Hong Kongers many fond memories over the past 23 years.
The office expressed their gratitude to Ocean Park for taking good care of An An over the years. He also thanked experts from the Chinese Giant Panda Conservation and Research Center for their continued support.
An An was one of two giant pandas the central government donated to Hong Kong in 1999 to mark the second anniversary of the city’s return to the homeland.
An An is an indispensable member of our family and grew up with the park. He has also forged strong friendships with locals and tourists.
Hong Kong Ocean Park
Ocean Park said the couple were seen as ambassadors for nature and the ecosystem and loved by visitors from around the world.
“An An is an indispensable member of our family and grew up with the park. It has also built a strong bond of friendship with locals and tourists,” according to the park.
In 2016, the other giant panda Jia Jia died at the age of 38.
Ocean Park will host condolence books at An An’s residence. Those who cannot make it in person can leave their condolences in the comments section of Ocean Park’s official Facebook page to pay their respects 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 enhanced by giant pandas Ying Ying and Le Le residing at Giant Panda Adventure,” Pong added.
The central government donated 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 hoped the couple could have babies, but they haven’t yet.
Giant pandas in the wild typically live around 20 years on average, and those in human care can reach up to 30 years.