CHINA TOPIX

Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Pan Pan: Oldest Known Male Giant Panda Marks 30th Birthday in China

Giant Panda Panpan 30 years old

(Photo : REUTERS/Stringer ) Giant panda Basi holds a doll of the Guangzhou Asian Games mascot at Fuzhou Panda World in Fuzhou, Fujian province.

The oldest known giant male panda in the world, Pan Pan, was greeted by well wishers in China during his 30th birthday on Monday. In human years, the panda is considered to be at least a hundred years old. 

Xinhua reported that Pan Pan celebrated his latest birthday surrounded by his caretaker and well wishers in China Conservation and Research Center located in Sichuan province.

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To celebrate the auspicious occasion, a "cake" was presented to the old panda. It was a three layered sculpture made of ice and adorned with carrots.

The humans sang happy birthday as Pan Pan slowly emerged from his quarters and received a very warm cheer.

Observers said the panda slowly circled the cake before sitting down beside it and started eating the birthday offering.

The research center's spokesperson Wei Rongping said they are convinced that Pan Pan holds the title of oldest giant male panda.

Pan Pan was not born in captivity, instead he was captured in a county in Sichuan while he was still a cub. He was turned over to the center and raised there.

Panda researchers admit that pandas bred in captivity have a low survival rate. Pan Pan, however, has successfully fathered more than a hundred cubs in the span of two decades. At least 25 percent of all giant pandas in captivity are his children, according to the spokesperson.

Two of his offsprings, "Tuan Tuan" and "Yuan Zai" were given to Taiwan by China in order to promote friendly ties.

Pan Pan's longevity is indeed astounding considering most of his peers in captivity can only manage to lived up to more than 20 years. He is, however, already exhibiting signs of his old age like sagging skin and muscle loss. Wei said that they will do their best to keep the panda healthy and alive for as long as they can.

Experts estimate that less than 2,000 giant pandas are still living in the wild, while less than 400 pandas are being raised in captivity. Giant pandas are considered to be endangered .

Meanwhile, the oldest female giant panda, Basi will celebrate her 35th birthday in two months time.

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