The world’s oldest male panda, with more than 130 descendants — a quarter of all the captive-bred pandas on the planet — has died aged 31, officials said.
Giant pandas have a notoriously low reproductive rate, a key contributor — along with habitat loss — to their status as vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of threatened species.
But Pan Pan — whose name means “hope” in Chinese — was a prolific father, siring many cubs over the years that have gone on to have offspring of their own.
Announcing his death, the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas called it “heart-wrenching news” and said the “hero father” had been suffering from cancer.
The most recent estimates show a population of 1,864 adult giant pandas in the wild, up by more than a sixth over a decade, with experts crediting nature reserves, bamboo planting, farmer subsidies and commercial programmes for the increase.
Via Raw Story.