Southwest China will be home to country's largest lesser panda breeding base

08:59, June 01, 2011      

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A national park in southwest China's Yunnan Province will soon become the largest lesser panda breeding base in the country, with about 100 lesser pandas eventually living in the base's forest, local authorities said Tuesday.

Forty-four red pandas, 13 male and 31 female, arrived in Pu'er National Park on Monday from the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture. Dozens more will be sent to the base soon, said workers with the Yunnan wildlife zoo, which is in charge of running the base.

Among the 31 female pandas, eight are pregnant and are expected to deliver their cubs around mid-June, said Ji Yang, a breeder working at the base.

The pandas are currently living in a quarantined area and will soon be released into the base's forest, Ji said.

Ji said that none of the pandas got sick during their 28-hour road trip to the base. The pandas were playing and eating just three hours after arriving at their new home, Ji said.

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