7 Oldest Giant Pandas Alive Today All Over The World

These 7 interesting bears are among the oldest Giant Pandas alive in captivity today. Each one has its own unique history and story.

These 7 bears are among the oldest giant pandas alive in captivity today.

Jia Jia The Oldest Giant Panda Ever In Captivity : 7 oldest giant pandas
Jia Jia (1978-2016) Maintains The Lead As The Oldest Giant Panda Ever In Captivity Living Till The Age Of 38 Years (Photo: LRT505/WikiMedia Commons) cc by-s.a. 3.0

It was with much sadness that the Straits Giant Panda Research and Exchange Center in Fuzhou announced the death of one of the oldest Giant Pandas in captivity: Basi. Basi was 37 years old at the time of her death and she passed away after a lavish birthday celebration just a few months earlier.

A year earlier (in 2016), then erstwhile oldest giant panda Jia Jia, also female, died at the age of 38. She was a record-setting animal and lived to about 114 human years!

Jia Jia was the oldest panda ever in captivity and she remains so to date.

Typically, giant pandas can live for upwards of 20 years in the wild and well over 35 years in captivity. Although, females tend to live for longer than their male kind.

For the males of the species, the Berlin Zoological Garden, Germany as once home to Bao Bao. This male panda died in 2012 at the ripe “old” age of 34. And that earned him the title of the oldest male panda in captivity ever. Unfortunately, he never reproduced any cubs.

So, just in case you’re wondering about the matriarchs, patriarchs, and oldest giant pandas alive in captivity today, meet them below.

7 Oldest Giant Pandas Alive Today All Over The World

7) Gu Gu

  • Birth Date: 1999
  • Age: 17
  • Gender: Male
  • Current Location: Beijing Zoo

Gu Gu is resident at the Beijing Zoo. Though he was born at the Wolong National Nature Reserve. Interestingly, this panda is somewhat irresistible to visitors and is known for attacking people who trespass into his enclosure.

6) Hua Mei

  • Birth Date: August 1999
  • Age: 18
  • Gender: Female
  • Current Location: Bifengxia Panda Base

Hua Mei is a well-known panda that residing in Ya’an, China at the Bifengxia Panda Base. She was born at the San Diego Zoo in 1999 making her 18 years old now. Hua Mei is one of the most successful panda mothers and she delivered three sets of twins from 2004 to 2007.

In addition, she is popular because she’s the first panda that survived up to adulthood in the USA.

5) Yang Yang

  • Birth Date: September 1997
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Male
  • Current Location: Zoo Atlanta

Originally named Jiu Jiu, Yang Yang got his new name from 3 organizations from the Netherlands that “adopted” him at his birthplace, the Chengdu Research Base.

His name means “little sea” and people describe him as easygoing and friendly. He’s also the father of all 7 cubs born at Zoo Atlanta.

4) Lun Lun

  • Birth Date: August 1997
  • Age: 20
  • Gender: Female
  • Current Location: Zoo Atlanta

Also resident at Zoo Atlanta, Lun Lun is mate to Yang Yang.

She was also born at Chengdu Research Base and renamed from Hua Hua to Lun Lun by a Taiwanese rock star named Su Huilin. She is the mother to several cubs.

 To date, Jia Jia holds the record for the oldest giant panda to ever live in captivity.

3) Bai Yun

  • Birth Date: September 1991
  • Age: 26
  • Gender: Female
  • Current Location: San Diego Zoo

This female is resident at San Diego Zoo and her name means “white cloud.”

Her birth was the first successful one at Wolong Giant Panda Research Center, China. She’s has been living at Zoo since September 1996 and has 6 cubs to her credit. In fact, her cubs are considered as the most surviving ones born at a foreign breeding facility outside their native China.

2)  Xin Xin

  • Birth Date: July 1990
  • Age: 27
  • Gender: Female
  • Current Location: Chapultepec Zoo

Xin Xin’s story is a bit different as she is the result of artificial insemination.

Her parents were Chia Chia and Tohui (both dead now). She lives in Chapultepec Zoo, Mexico City. She’s also peculiar for being one of the very few pandas in South America.

1) Gao Gao

  • Birth Date: 1990
  • Age: 27
  • Gender: Male
  • Current Location: San Diego Zoo

Gao Gao is resident at the San Diego Zoo and is the father to 5 cubs while in captivity.

His name means “High High or Tall Tall.” Gao Gao was born in his native China out in the wild and officials took him to the Fengtongzhai Nature Reserve in 1993. At the time, he suffered from injuries that resulted in him losing about two thirds of his left ear.

Authorities tried releasing him back into the wild in 1994 but he was so disruptive to the neighboring villages that they had to take him to the Wolong Panda Conservation Center in 2002.

Thereafter, they moved him to San Diego Zoo in January 2003 to pair up with female panda Bai Yun. It turned out to be a very successful coupling. As a result, the coupe had 5 cubs all through natural mating.

Gao Gao even has 3 grandchildren!

Unfortunately, it was recently revealed that he suffers from an incurable and progressive heart condition.

However, zoo officials are doing everything possible to ensure he gets the best medical care for and lives the rest of his days in comfort.



1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/Queen-fur-day-Basi-second-oldest-panda-treated-like-royalty.html

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_giant_pandas

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