The world's oldest panda is dead. Jia Jia passed away at 6am on Sunday morning at her home at Hong Kong's Ocean Park. She was 38 years old.
Now condolences are pouring in from around the world.
Jia Jia was the oldest living panda in captivity. She lived at Ocean Park in Hong Kong, and in August, she turned 38, the equivalent of 114 in human years.
Ever since her birthday, Jia Jia had lost weight and her desire to eat.
"Jia Jia was observed to be rapidly deteriorating in recent two weeks, with her food consumption sharply declining from over 10kg to less than 3kg per day, and her average weight dropping from 71kg to around 67kg," Ocean Park wrote on its Facebook page.
On Sunday morning, Jia Jia's health deteriorated drastically and she lay on the ground without moving. Ocean Park made the decision to put Jia Jia to sleep to reduce her suffering.
At 38, Jia Jia, far outlived the average life expectancy of less than 20 years for pandas in captivity. Despite Jia Jia's advanced age, the news of her death came with great sadness.
"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."
During her long life, Jia Jia helped promote the conservation of endangered pandas. And along with her mate, Jia Jia taught Ocean Park visitors how important it is to preserve the natural environment of pandas.
"We are proud of her contribution to conservation."
Rest in peace, Jia Jia.
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