Jia Jia, the oldest giant panda kept in captivity, died in a Hong Kong theme park on Sunday. She was 38. The animal, who had lived in the Ocean Park since 1999 was put down by vets after her health deteriorated, a spokesperson for the park said.
Jia Jia, which means “good”, had been suffering from high blood pressure and arthritis. Over the past few weeks, she lost interest in food and was rapidly dropped weight. On Sunday she became unable to get up and walk around, officials told the South China Morning Post. She was put to sleep to prevent suffering and for ethical reasons, her vets said.
The panda was born in the wild and was moved to a wildlife reserve in China’s Sichuan province when she was 2 years old. She and another panda named An An were gifted to Hong Kong by Beijing in 1999, The Guardian reported.
A panda usually lives for 18-20 years in the wild and around 30 years in captivity, according to Guinness World Records, which had declared her the world’s oldest.