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The world's oldest panda has died

Pan Pan would have been 100 years old if he was human

The world's oldest panda has died at his home in a Chinese zoo.

Pan Pan was 31, but in panda years, that's the equivalent of a human who lived to 100.

He lived in south-west China's Sichuan province, and had been suffering from cancer in his old age.

While he was alive, he was instrumental in helping keep the population of giant pandas healthy; it's thought that a quarter of all giant pandas bred in captivity are his descendents.

Pan Pan was born in the wild in 1985, but lived in captivity since he was a few months old.

"Pan Pan was the equivalent to about 100 human years, but he had been living with cancer and his health had deteriorated in the past three days," zookeeper Tan Chengbin told China's Xinhua news agency.

It's not all been bad news for giant pandas in 2016, though. Th species was reclassified from 'endangered' to the less risky 'vulnerable'. Figures vary on how many giant pandas live in the wild today, but it's thought to be between 1800 and 2000.

Let's hope Pan Pan's descendents carry on his legacy.

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