World’s Oldest Captive Giant Panda Celebrates 38th Birthday

The world’s oldest giant panda living in captivity celebrated its 38th birthday Sunday at a zoo in China.

A birthday party was held in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality for the panda named Xin Xing. Over 100 panda fans attended the party and sang the Happy Birthday song in its honor. They also prepared a birthday cake covered with bamboo shoots, carrots and watermelons for Xin Xing, reported ChinaDaily.

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Xin Xing’s age is equivalent to about 110 to 130 in human years. In fact, this female panda is expected to break the Guinness world record for the longest living giant panda ever known. The current record is held by a panda named Jia Jia that passed away on Oct. 16, 2016 at the age of 38 years and two months. 

With a weight of 90 to 100 kilograms, Xin Xing eats seven meals a day, including 30 kg of bamboo shoots, 1 kg of bamboo leaves and various types of fruits, according to ChinaDaily.

Tang Jiagui, the director of the zoo’s animal management department, said that Xin Xing has been quite healthy for the past 38 years with no major illnesses, with the small exception of an occasional high blood pressure. 

“We monitor her health closely, including daily blood pressure checks and two overall physical checks a year. All her major organs are in good condition,” Tang said. 

Xin Xing was born in 1982 in the wild of Baoxing County in China’s southwestern Sichuan Province. She was then sent to Chongqing Zoo at the age of one. 

In addition to her longevity, she has also served as the matriarch of a huge family of 153 pandas. Her offspring are spread across the globe in more than 20 countries and regions, including the US, Canada and Japan.

During the 1988 Winter Olympics, Xin Xing (then known as Qiong Qiong) went to Calgary, Canada for exhibition, attracting millions of people. 

A panda’s average life span in the wild is 14-20 years, but they can live up to 30 years in captivity, according to the World Wide Fund For Nature.

The latest census in 2014 found that there were 1,864 giant pandas alive in the wild.