World's oldest male panda dies aged 31

In September, the giant panda was moved from endangered to vulnerable status

World's oldest male panda dies aged 31

Image: Joshua Paul / AP/Press Association Images

Pan Pan, the world's oldest male panda, has died in China aged 31.

Born in the wild but taken into captivity when only a few months old, he was diagnosed with cancer several months ago.

Pan Pan, which means 'hope', was cared for by the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda in Dujiangyan in Sichuan province. In the days before his death, his health declined rapidly, and he stopped moving and eating.

The world's oldest female panda is Basi, 36, who also lives in China. The life expectancy of a panda in the wild is about 20 years but those in captivity often live a decade longer.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature this year announced the giant panda is now listed as vulnerable rather than endangered, a result of "effective forest protection and reforestation."

However the organisation warned climate change is set to destroy 35% of the Panda's bamboo habitat in the next 80 years. which will reverse population gains made in the last 20 years.