This summer, Hong Kong Ocean Park’s giant panda will turn 37, thus breaking the world record for the oldest panda living in captivity!
The giant panda is an endangered species, with only 1,864 wild giant pandas counted in WWF’s survey in 2014. WWF also states that the average life span of a wild panda is 14-20 years, while that of a panda in captivity can reach 30 years.
Born in China in 1978, Jia Jia was given to Hong Kong as a gift in 1999 along with another panda to mark the second anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain. Jia Jia, meaning “good” in Chinese, will celebrate her birthday in the giant panda habitat in Ocean Park, although her exact birthday is unknown. Her age is the equivalent to a human over 100 years old, despite that she looks “surprisingly good for her years.”
The park’s chief veterinarian Paolo Martelli says that despite her severely impaired vision and deteriorating hearing, Jia Jia’s health is good for her age, according to Reuters. At 80 kilograms, she lives on bamboo shoots, fruit and high-fiber bread.
If Jia Jia lives this summer, the park staff will send an application to the Guinness Book of World Records and she will take the position of current record holder, giant panda Du Du, who passed away at 37 in 1999.
Photos courtesy of reuters.com.