World's oldest panda euthanised in Hong Kong

Jia Jia was a Guinness World Record holder

World's oldest panda euthanised in Hong Kong

In this file photo, giant panda Jia Jia eats bamboo next to her birthday cake made with ice and vegetables at Ocean Park in Hong Kong, as she celebrates her 37th birthday.

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

Jia Jia was 38, and had lived at the zoo for the past 17 years.
 
Ocean Park said in a statement that the panda's condition had been "rapidly deteriorating" in recent weeks, with greatly reduced food consumption and a marked decrease in weight.
 
Her condition took a turn for the worse on Sunday, leaving her unable to do anything but lay down for the majority of the day.
 
The zoo made the decision to euthanize Jia Jia to prevent further suffering, and veterinarians performed the procedure.
 
Jia Jia had reportedly been suffering from multiple geriatric diseases including high blood pressure, arthritis and cataracts on both eyes.
 
She broke a world record last year on her 37th birthday, becoming the oldest panda living in captivity.
 
 
The average life expectancy of a giant panda is below 20 years in the wild, 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.
 
"Jia Jia's longevity is a result of Ocean Park's ongoing efforts in providing best-practice of care to the giant pandas," he said.
 
The panda was rescued in 1980 and kept at Wolong for over a decade before being given as part of a pair to the Hong Kong government by China in 1999.
 
Her mate, An An, is now the world's second oldest male giant panda in captivity, at 30-years-old.
 
Jia Jia and An An became instant sensations on their arrival in Hong Kong, with more than 29 million guests visiting them over the years, according to the wildlife park.