World's oldest panda, Jia Jia, dies aged 38

The world's oldest panda living in captivity - 38-year-old Jia Jia - has died.

Jia Jia, whose name meant "good", moved to Hong Kong in 1999 where she had lived ever since.

But in recent weeks her health had declined rapidly, causing a loss in appetite and weight.

On Sunday, Jia Jia's owners Ocean Park announced that she had been put down.

  • Jia Jia celebrates 37th birthday

Jia Jia celebrated her 37th birthday with some cake Credit: Reuters

"Over the past few days, she has been spending less time awake and showing no interest in food or fluids", Ocean Park said in a statement on its website.

"Her condition became worse this morning. Jia Jia was not able to walk about without difficulties and spent the day laying down.

"Her state became so debilitated that based on ethical reasons and in order to prevent suffering, veterinarians...agreed to a humane euthanasia for Jia Jia".

Pandas are an endangered species because most of their natural habitat has been destroyed for timber, farming and construction, according to the World Wildlife Fund.