The panda passed away on her 35th birthday, a milestone that she celebrated with a cake prepared with dates and apples before her demise.
Mexico has tragically lost its oldest panda. Mexico City's Environment Department announced news of Shaun Shaun the panda, a resident of the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City. According to ABC News, the panda passed away on her 35th birthday, a milestone that she celebrated at the zoo before her demise.
Although the Environment Department has not listed a cause for Shuan Shuan's death, it revealed that the panda lived well beyond her species' life expectancy in the wild, which is said to be 15 years. On Wednesday the department shared that the panda died on her birthday after enjoying a cake prepared with dates and apples, which was "her favorite food."
Born in 1987, Shuan Shuan was one of the longest-living pandas outside its native habitat i.e. China, according to the department. Back in July 2021, officials in China announced that pandas were no longer considered an endangered species. Ever since the number of giant pandas in the wild surpassed 1,800, the species has been classified as "vulnerable," a step below "endangered."
Robust conservation efforts made this positive milestone toward protecting the species possible. To save the dwindling population of its nation's treasure, the Chinese government created over 50 panda reserves. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, these measures helped increase the population of the giant panda. Furthermore, the Wildlife Protection Act, which went into law in 1989, bans the poaching of pandas.
Pandas are is also known as umbrella species which protect many other species in the region they live. "In other words, when we protect pandas, we invariably protect other animals that live around them, such as multicolored pheasants, the golden monkey, takin, and crested ibis. Pandas also bring sustainable economic benefits to many local communities through ecotourism," explains the World Wild Life.