The World's Oldest Panda Lived to 34

Ming Ming died at 34, making her the world's oldest panda

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Most panda's live for 15 years in the wild and 22 years in captivity, China's Global Times reports. But Ming Ming, the world's oldest panda, defied panda norms by carrying out 34 long years before she passed away at Xiangjiang Wild Animal World in Panyu, China's Guangdong Province last week. Today, experts confirmed that it was kidney failure, caused by old age, that lead to Ming Ming's death.

Ming Ming made the news back in 1994. After a short stint in the London Zoo, during which she fought off the male panda with whom she was sent to mate, Ming Ming was deported back to China. This, according to the BBC, was before China decided to reverse its long-held tradition of "Panda Diplomacy"--sending pandas as gifts for official visits from foreign leaders--and to start conserving its panda population. One of the most endangered species, there are about 1,600 pandas living in the wild, according to the Associated Press. "More than 300 are in captivity in China, most in a breeding program aimed at boosting the population."

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