An An, the world’s oldest giant panda in captivity, is out of spirits and has a poor appetite, according to Ocean Park Hong Kong. A Facebook post by the theme park said that the 35-year-old male panda has been absent from his enclosure at the park’s Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures section for the past two weeks because of ill health.
The park has asked for visitors to send An An support by leaving “blessing(s) in the comment box below… or a ‘heart’ emoji to wish him a speedy recovery.” The “centenarian panda” — as the park described him because he is the equivalent of 105 human years in age — has suffered from high blood pressure, joint pains and cataracts in recent years.
An An was born in the wild in Sichuan province in southwestern China. He was rescued by Sichuan Wolong National Nature Reserve along with his female partner Jia Jia. The pair arrived at Ocean Park as gifts from Beijing to Hong Kong on the second anniversary of the SAR’s handover to China in 1999. It was hoped that they would produce offspring, but the park’s attempts to get them to mate were unsuccessful.
Jia Jia was euthanised in 2016 due to her declining health, which was marked by a drop in appetite, weight loss, and a disinclination to move around. At the time, she was 38 years old, the equivalent of 114 human years and the world’s oldest known living giant panda. When An An turned 31 in 2017, he became the longest-living male panda under human care.
Header image credits: Ocean Park Hong Kong via Facebook