World's oldest panda dies in China

May 17, 2011 at 11:27 AM
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PANYU, China, May 17 (UPI) -- Ming Ming, the world's oldest panda at 34, has died, officials at the China Panda Protection Center in Sichuan Province said.

The official cause of her death was given as old age, the Chengdu Evening News reported Monday.

Ming Ming was rescued in Pingwu county in Sichuan Province in 1977 and transferred to Xiangjiang Wild Animal World in Panyu, Guangdong Province March 31, 1998.

On May 2, blood was observed in Ming Ming's urine and waste. Medical experts immediately stepped in, but the panda died early in the morning of May 7, officials said.

An examination determined she died of kidney failure brought on by advancing age.

Experts say most pandas in the wild only live for 15 years, while captive pandas survive an average of 25 years.

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