While no woman relishes the thought of being another year older, Jia Jia has never been happier. But then again, Jia Jia is a giant panda who has spent most of her life in captivity, so it’s not really a fair comparison.
This Tuesday, not only did Jia Jia turn 37-years-old (which makes her over 100 in human years), but she also managed to break not one, but two Guinness World Records.
Jia Jia bears the distention of not only being the older giant panda ever living in captivity, but also being the oldest giant panda currently living in captivity (which means that, for however many years Jia Jia has left in her, she’ll keep on making history). What a way to get old.
Blythe Ryan Fitzwilliam, a Guinness representative, was in attendance at the birthday festivities in Hong Kong’s Ocean Park in order to personally congratulate Jia Jia on her “amazing longevity achievement.”
And, if you’re wondering how exactly a giant panda’s 37th birthday gets celebrated in Hong Kong, the answer is just about as cute as you expect. According to CNN “Jia Jia was present a birthday ‘ice cake’ made of a clock of ice with grenadine and mint syrup with an apple inside. Meanwhile, humans celebrated her birthday with a panda-shaped ice cream cake.”
It doesn’t get much cuter than that.
Although the exact date of Jia Jia’s birth is unknown, she was born in 1978 as a free giant panda in Sichuan, China. In 1999, she was given to Hong Kong to celebrate the country’s two-year anniversary of being free from British rule.
Even though Jia Jia is definitely still kicking, just like any older person you know, the old broad has had her setbacks. Jia Jia’s include cataracts and high blood pressure, but all things considered, she’s doing alright.
The previous record for world’s oldest giant panda was held by a male panda called Du Du (Panda’s really love a repetitious name, don’t they?) who was also caught in the wild and died in July 1999 at the tender age of 36.
So what’s Jia Jia’s secret to a long life? Fiber. Lots of it.