World’s oldest panda Jia Jia dies in Hong Kong

,The world’s oldest panda in captivity died Sunday in Hong Kong’s Ocean Park.

38-year old Jia Jia had lived at the zoo for the past 17 years..

In a statement, Ocean Park said the panda had been “rapidly deteriorating” in recent weeks, with greatly reduced food consumption and a marked decrease in weight.

According to Ocean Park, in recent weeks Jia Jia’s food consumption had sharply declined from over 10kg (22 pounds) to less than three kg (six pounds) per day and her average weight dropped from 71kg (156 pounds) to around 67kg (147 pounds).

“Over the past few days, she has been spending less time awake and showing no interest in food or fluids. Her condition became worse this morning. Jia Jia was not able to walk about without difficulties and spent the day laying down,” Ocean Park said in a statement posted on its website.

She broke a world record last year on her 37th birthday. In 2015, Guinness World Records recognized Jia Jia, as the oldest giant panda ever in captivity. Previously, the oldest giant panda in captivity was Dudu, who was born in 1962 and spent much of her life in China’s Wuhan Zoo until her death in 1999.

Pandas in the wild typically only live below 20 years, and just over 20 years under human care, according to Wang Chengdong, director of veterinary services at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China’s Sichuan province.

Ocean Park now has three remaining pandas including the 30-year-old An An, the world’s second oldest male panda in captivity. An An has also been diagnosed with old age-related issues like high blood pressure and arthritic pain. He is joined by 11-year-old giant pandas Ying Ying and Le Le who are both in great health.

According to Ocean Park, Jia Jia and An An became an instant sensation on their arrival in Hong Kong, with more than 29 million guests visiting them over the years.

“(She) was a member of our family who spent 17 wonderful years with the Hong Kong people, and she will be deeply missed,” park chairman Leo Kung said.

world's oldest panda Jia Jia

World’s oldest panda Jia Jia (Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

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