World's oldest male panda dies at 31

Giant panda Pan Pan with a cake made of ice for his 30th birthday in September last year at the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda in Dujiangyan, in south-western China's Sichuan. Pan Pan, the world's oldest male panda with mo
PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Giant panda Pan Pan with a cake made of ice for his 30th birthday in September last year at the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda in Dujiangyan, in south-western China's Sichuan.

Pan Pan, the world's oldest male panda with more than 130 descendants - a quarter of all the pandas bred in captivity on the planet - has died at age 31, officials said yesterday.

Giant pandas have a notoriously low reproductive rate, but Pan Pan was a prolific father.

The centre said the "hero father" had been suffering from cancer.

Pan Pan was born in the wild in Sichuan in 1985, but lived in captivity from just a few months old.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2016, with the headline 'World's oldest male panda dies at 31'. Print Edition | Subscribe