Ocean Park announced on Thursday that An An, a giant panda gifted to Hong Kong by the central government in 1999, had been euthanised.
An An was born in Sichuan in 1986, and was the world’s longest-living male giant panda under human care.
In a statement, Ocean Park said it is deeply saddened by the loss of the beloved animal, who lived 35 years – the equivalent of 105 years in human age.
“An An is an indispensable member of our family and has grown together with the Park. He has also built a strong bond of friendship with locals and tourists alike,” said Paulo Pong, Chairman of Ocean Park Corporation.
“An An has brought us fond memories with numerous heart-warming moments. His cleverness and playfulness will be dearly missed,” he added.
The park said the panda had been eating less and less and growing weaker in the past weeks.
By July 17, he had stopped eating altogether and only drank water and electrolyte beverages, with medical care provided to make him feel more at ease.
“Unfortunately, but as expected, An An’s condition reached a humane endpoint”, the park said, adding vets from the park and the Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department had decided to euthanise him on Thursday morning after consulting the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda.
He was put down at around 8.40am.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Chief Executive John Lee said he’s saddened by An An’s passing. He thanked Ocean Park for taking good care of An An over the years, and thanked the central government as well as experts in Sichuan for their support.
“An An, you’ve brought us some wonderful memories. You’ll be with us in our hearts. Rest in peace,” the CE wrote.
The giant panda arrived in Hong Kong together with Jia Jia, the world’s longest-living female giant panda, who passed away in 2016.
The central government gifted two younger giant pandas, Ying Ying and Le Le, to the SAR in 2007. They still reside at Ocean Park.
Last updated: 2022-07-21 HKT 18:00