BIOLOGICAL samples from the much-loved Jia Jia (佳佳) – once the world’s oldest panda in captivity – will be preserved and conserved. Ocean Park announced that her skeleton, including the skull and teeth, will be kept for veterinary science education and research.
Her fur will be preserved and placed inside incubators to keep newborn pandas warm, and familiarise them with the fur of an adult panda, said an expert in the mainland.
Jia Jia’s remaining body parts will be cremated, and the treated ashes will be planted with a memorial tree next to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures (香港賽馬會四川奇珍館) where she lived.
She was euthanised on 16 October at the age of 38, equivalent to 114 human years. She had been suffering from high blood pressure, arthritis and cataracts, and could barely walk the day she died.
Jia Jia was born in the wild in Sichuan (四川) in 1978, rescued in 1980 and given to Hong Kong in March 1999. She was 20 years old when she arrived in Hong Kong with An An (安安), aged 12 back then, as gifts from Beijing. The pair attracted more than 29 million visitors over the past 17 years.
With a strong motherhood instinct, Jia Jia had six cubs, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren living in different panda facilities in the mainland.
Last July at the age of 37, Jia Jia was recognised by Guinness World Records as the ‘oldest panda ever in captivity’ and ‘oldest panda living in captivity’.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 8 November 2016)
Ocean Park honours the life of giant panda Jia Jia
Wolong National Nature Reserve