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How Long Do Pandas Live?

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How long do pandas live? How long does a panda live in captivity and how long does a panda live in the wild?  

We Love Panda is a group of passionate people who love to share their knowledge about pandas 🐼🐼🐼. Today we have decided to give you an idea of how long the panda lives.

The life expectancy of a giant panda, mammals, can vary considerably depending on various factors, such as food availability, habitat conditions, diseases... In the wild pandas can live between 15 and 20 years on average, but in captivity it is not uncommon to see them exceed the 30-year mark.

In this article you will learn many things and in particular :

  • The life span between a panda in captivity and a wild panda varies so much
  • What's the oldest panda in the world?

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Source: Panda Jewelry collection (We Love Panda©)

1) How long do pandas live in the wild?

The average life expectancy of wild giant pandas, an endangered species, is 15 to 20 years

The panda feeds on bamboo constantly, up to 8 hours a day. But unfortunately its natural habitat, the bamboo forests are destroyed day after day by humans. The panda's living space is shrinking and food can sometimes become more difficult to get. Urbanization, deforestation, illegal pet trade, illegal wildlife trade, poaching are the causes reducing the life expectancy of a wild panda.

➡️ We advise you to read our dossier on "why pandas are endangered", to understand the impact of human activity on the panda habitat.

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2) How long do pandas live in captivity?

While free pandas can live on average up to 20 years. Pandas in captivity can expect to live longer with medical and nutritional support. Indeed, they can live for more than 30 years! 

It should be remembered that the ultimate aim of captive breeding programs is the reintroduction of captive pandas into the natural environment. So, pandas in captivity are part of the species survival plan.

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3) Why do pandas live longer in captivity?

Captive pandas have veterinary controls in place to detect and prevent disease. As a result, they are healthy! They live longer thanks to the plenty of food available 🎋 in animal parks. 

If pandas in captivity live longer, it is first because sources of danger and predators are eliminated.

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Source: Panda Backpack Ears (We Love panda©)

4) How old is the oldest panda?

  • The oldest panda of all time

The record for longevity in captivity is still held by the female Jia Jia who died at an estimated age of 38 years 😯.

  • Basi died at the age of 37

The world-famous female Basi panda, and dean of the captive pandas since Jia Jia's death on 16 October 2016. Basi died on Wednesday 13 September 2017 at Fuzhou Panda World Park. This animal was a real star in China 🇨🇳, where each of its birthdays was celebrated in front of the cameras. Basi died at the age of 37, the equal of more than a century for humans. 

But don't worry, Basi has had a full life. Indeed, the black and white urchin was lucky enough to go abroad once, on a six-month loan to San Diego zoo in 1987. But you can still see panda in the U.S. at the Smithsonian National Panda Zoo in Washington!

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  • The oldest panda alive.

👉 Today the oldest panda still alive is Xinxing, this female born in 1982 celebrated her 37th birthday on January 21, 2020. This grandmother is in great shape, she now weighs 97 kg and eats 30 kg of bamboo shoots a day 😋.

Xinxing is the happy matriarch of a family of 137 pandas. Her descendants are spread over more than 20 countries and regions around the world!

Conclusion:

👉 Giant Panda has a life expectancy of: 

    In captivity: 15 - 30 years
    In the wild: 15 - 20 years old

👉 If you were wondering about the red panda

     In captivity: 10 - 14 years old 
     In the wild: 7 - 8 years old 

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