Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 17th, 2011
In this photo taken Aug. 21, 2009 and made available Tuesday May 17, 2011, Giant panda Ming Ming eats bamboo leaves at the Xiangjiang Safari Park in Panyu in Guangzhou in southern China’s Guangdong province.
Ming Ming, seen at the zoo in London in 1994, has died of old age, Chinese state media say. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Chinese state media say the world’s oldest panda has died at the age of 34.
The Global Times reported that Ming Ming had kidney failure. She had been living at a zoo or preserve in Guangdong province.
The China Panda Protection Center in Sichuan province said in a statement she died May 7, but it was reported only Tuesday in local media. More details about her were not available.
The newspaper said wild pandas live 15 years on average and captive ones 22 years.
Giant pandas are among the world’s most endangered species, with about 1,600 in the wild. More than 300 are in captivity in China, most in a breeding program aimed at boosting the population.
The country also loans pandas to zoos worldwide.