The world’s oldest giant panda in captivity was put to sleep at Ocean Park on Sunday after her health substantially deteriorated. Although the exact date of Jia Jia’s birth is not known, she was believed to be 38 – the equivalent of 114 years old in human terms.
In a statement yesterday, a spokesperson for Ocean Park said, “With deep sadness and sorrow, we announce the passing of a celebrated life of 38-year-old Jia Jia, the world’s oldest giant panda to have lived under human care. All of us at Ocean Park are saddened by the loss of our giant panda, Jia Jia.”
According to the statement, Jia Jia’s food consumption had declined sharply in recent weeks and her weight had dropped from 71kg to 67kg. She had been spending less time awake and was struggling to walk. Veterinarians from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (ACFD) and Ocean Park agreed to a humane euthanasia for Jia Jia for ethical reasons.
The statement went on to say, “Jia Jia has been with Ocean Park for 17 years. She was a member of our family and she will be deeply missed, especially by the Park’s keepers who took care of her over the years. This is a day we knew would eventually come, but it is nevertheless a sad day for everyone at the Park.”
A special video made in memory of Jia Jia will be shared on Ocean Park’s official YouTube channel from Saturday October 22.
The average life expectancy for a giant panda is 20 years in the wild and around 25 years in captivity.
Image: Ocean Park