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Ocean Park Celebrates Giant Panda Birthdays
Ying Ying Shows Typical Pregnancy Symptoms while the Park Wishes Elderly An An Speedy Recovery

2020-07-25

Ocean Park has been temporarily closed since last week in conjunction with the Hong Kong Government’s latest anti-pandemic measures. Despite so, its animal care team continues to provide the best husbandry for all animals at the Park. Today, especially, was a very special day for the Park’s giant pandas An An[1], Ying Ying and Le Le[2] in celebrating their August birthdays.
 
The Park’s panda caretakers teamed up with Häagen-Dazs™ to create a colourful, icy birthday cake for an early birthday celebration for Ying Ying and Le Le as they will turn 15 next month. Since Ying Ying is resting, the Park invited Le Le to represent the birthday duo to receive the blessings. The trio-layer icy birthday cake was made with Le Le’s favourite treats – bamboo, sweet potato, carrot and Fuji apple, and adorned with bamboo shoot, yam bean, pear and pumpkin. The cake was topped with a “longevity peach”, along with Le Le’s name and age. When Le Le saw the cake, he could not wait to savour the mouth-watering birthday treat and was so excited that he even pushed the cake over!
 
The young female panda, Ying Ying, and her male companion Le Le are both in robust health after their first successful natural mating in April. Ying Ying has been displaying typical pregnancy symptoms since mid-July, including reduced appetite and prolonged resting time. However, these factors could also indicate a pseudo-pregnancy. The Park will continue to observe Ying Ying’s hormonal level and behavioural changes and will keep the public informed of the latest development. As the chance of pregnancy via natural mating is higher than by artificial insemination, the Park hopes to bear wonderful panda pregnancy news for Hong Kong later this year.
 
On the other hand, An An, the Park’s “centenarian panda” is turning 34 years old this August, which is equivalent to about 102 in human age. He is the world’s longest-living male giant panda under human care. The elderly An An has been coping with common geriatric conditions like human beings, including high blood pressure, arthritis and cataract. The Park’s animal caretakers and vets have long been providing appropriate treatments for him. Unfortunately, An An contracted pneumonia last week due to bacterial infection, leading to a decreased appetite. The Park’s animal care and veterinary teams are closely monitoring An An’s condition and providing him with optimal medical care. Giant pandas in the wild typically live about 20 years on average, while lifespans of those under human care can reach 30 years, making An An a rare “centenarian panda”. To wish An An a speedy recovery, the Park’s panda caretakers have specially prepared a “longevity peach” made with his all-time favourite wowotou, presented together with a pumpkin that has the Chinese character “Shou (壽)” (meaning longevity in Chinese) carved on it to celebrate An An’s birthday.
 
Meanwhile, the Park is closely monitoring the situation to align with the Government’s precautionary measures against COVID-19 in determining the reopening date. The Park’s animal care team has been continuously providing optimal care for the giant pandas and other animal ambassadors to ensure their well-being. The Park’s animal ambassadors look forward to seeing visitors again soon when Ocean Park reopens.
 
Special thanks to: Häagen-Dazs™
 
[1] The exact birthday of An An is unknown, as he is rescued from the wild.
[2] The birthdays of Ying Ying and Le Le are 16 August and 8 August respectively.