'Panda Grandpa' Pan Pan dead at 31

Pan Pan known for his natural breeding skill earning the nickname "Panda Grandpa" for his successful progeny died Wednesday, according to Chinese state run media. He was 31.

Pan Pan lived a very active life, siring more than 30 panda cubs.  

His 130 descendants account for a quarter of the captive panda population earning him the nickname "Panda Grandpa."

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"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," Tan Chengbin, a keeper with the China Panda Protection and Research Center, told Xinhua.

Pan Pan, whose name means "expectation," was born in the wild, but was captured in Sichuan's Baoxing County in 1985, when he was just a few months old.

At 31, he was the oldest male panda in captivity. Basi, 36, a female panda, is the oldest in the world after Jia Jia, 38, died two months ago in Hong Kong.

 "Pan Pan brought hope to the center," the conservation center said in a release. "In a group of sluggish, feeble pandas, Pan Pan stood out. He was always full of energy and vitality."