Odd News

Sad day: Jia Jia, the world's oldest panda in captivity, euthanized at 38

According to the Ocean Park Hong Kong theme park Jia Jia, the world's oldest giant panda in captivity, was put down after her health deteriorated over the last two weeks, leaving her unable to walk without difficulty, as well as other complications (AFP Photo/Philippe Lopez)

Jia Jia, the world's oldest-ever panda in captivity was euthanized Sunday at Ocean Park, the Hong Kong theme park where she lived. A veterinarian put down the 38-year-old panda because her health had deteriorated and to prevent further suffering. Guinness World Records recognized Jia Jia as the oldest giant panda to live in captivity. Born in the wild, Jia Jia was taken to live at a wildlife reserve's breeding center in central China's Sichuan province in 1980, when she was around 2 years old.

This is a day we knew would eventually come, but it is nevertheless a sad day for everyone at the park, especially for the park's keepers who took care of her over the years.

Leo Kung, Ocean Park's chairman

Three other pandas still live at Ocean Park — 30-year-old An An, and Ying Ying and Le Le, both 11. Jia Jia and An An were given to Hong Kong as a gift from Beijing in 1999, on the second anniversary of the city's handover from Britain to China. Pandas, a beloved symbol of China, were long considered one of the world's most endangered animals, although last month a leading international group lowered its classification to "vulnerable."

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Giant panda

The giant panda, also known as panda bear or simply panda, is a bear native to south central China. It is easily recognized by the large, distinctive black patches around its eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. The name"giant panda" is sometimes used to distinguish it from the unrelated red panda.

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