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Oldest Captive Panda Dies in China

July 24, 1999| Associated Press

BEIJING — Dudu, the world's oldest giant panda in captivity, has died in a zoo in central China's Hubei province, the state-run New China News Agency said Friday.

Hot summer weather might have contributed to the 37-year-old panda's death Thursday in Wuhan, the agency said. She also suffered from epilepsy and had been monitored 24 hours a day by a team with emergency medical equipment, it said.

The average life span of a wild giant panda is about 15 years, and pandas in captivity live for 25 years. That made Dudu "a super god of longevity," the news agency said.

China has only about 1,000 wild and captive pandas left.

Born in 1962 in a nature reserve, Dudu was first transferred to a zoo in the southwestern city of Chengdu and then moved to Wuhan in 1972.

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