Four captive-bred giant pandas to produce cubs in the wild of SW China

10:11, July 25, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The Wolong China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center, in southwest China's Sichuan Province, has returned four well-selected pregnant giant pandas into the forest, expecting them to deliver their cubs in the wild.

The giant pandas -- Zi Zhu, Ying Ping, Cao Cao and Zhang Ka -- arrived Tuesday at a tract of woodlands in a training base in Hetaoping, Wolong, which was built to help giant pandas live in the wild, said Tang Chunxiang, a senior expert with the center.

"So far, their moods are stable. Cao Cao displays the pregnancy reaction of pacing around," Tang said.

The giant pandas, aged four to five, were expected to give birth to their cubs in the forest, covering some 20,000 square meters, and they will live there until the young pandas are aged three to four, Tang said.

"All of the carefully-chosen pandas have experience of living in the wild and three of them, except Ying Ping, have given birth to cubs. We hope the mothers can teach their cubs life skills to help them survive in the wild," he said.

The would-be mothers, previously kept in captivity, will produce and breed the cubs on their own, while the workers of the center will observe them through surveillance cameras.

"If they need help, the workers will show up dressed in costumes that make them look like giant pandas, in order to reduce the animals' reliance on humans," Tang said.

Also, the workers would simulate sounds and smells of panda's natural enemies, aimed at improving their vigilance and raising their chances to survive in the wild, he said, adding that some small animals, such as squirrels and rabbits, would also be released into the woods.

This is the second phase of a plan conducted by the research center to gradually release captive-bred giant pandas into the wild.

The first phase of the scheme, launched in 2003, suffered a setback when Xiang Xiang, a five-year-old male giant panda, was found dead in 2007 after he was returned to the wild.

Giant pandas, known for being sexually inactive, are among the world's most endangered animals.

About 1,600 giant pandas live in China's wild forests, mostly in Sichuan and the northwestern provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu. Another 290 are in captive-bred programs worldwide, mainly in China.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • A Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module blasts off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 29, 2011. Commander-in-chief of China's manned space program Chang Wanquan announced Thursday night that the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module was successful. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)
  • Chinese President Hu Jintao watches the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, including Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhou Yongkang, are also present. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
  • The graphics shows the launch procedures of the carrier rocket of Tiangong-1 space lab module, Long March-2FT1 on Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Lu Zhe)
  • Image taken from Beijing Aerospace Control Center shows a Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module blasting off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua)
  • On Sept. 28, tourists travel around the Mingshashan Scenic Area in Dunhuang, Gansu province by camel. With the National Day vacation right around the corner, more and more tourists from home and abroad are going to Dunhuang. Riding on a camel, they travel in the desert to enjoy the cities rare form of natural scenery. (Xinhua/Zhang Weixian)
  • Chinese forest armed forces work together with forest firefighters on Sept. 28. (Xinhua/Chai Liren)
Hot Forum Discussion