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No panda death reported in quake zone


09:07, April 21, 2013

CHENGDU, April 20 (Xinhua)-- No giant panda casualty has been reported so far in breeding facilities located in its hometown near the epicenter of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Ya'an, the quake's epicenter, is home to giant pandas. All 60 giant pandas and nearly 100 staff at Bifengxia Panda Base, located 50 kilometers away from the epicenter in Longmen county, Ya'an city, are safe. Buildings in the base suffered minor damages,said Heng Yi, director of the base's publicity department.

As of now, conditions of wild giant pandas in Fengtongzhai Panda Nature Reserve, located in the badly-hit Baoxing county during the quake, can not be identified due to disruptions in communication and transportation, said Dong Wei, head of the reserve.

"Giant pandas are timid in nature. Some of the pandas in our center have experienced the Wenchuan earthquake," said Ren Yao, a staff member at the Bifengxia Panda Base.

"These pandas were frightened by today's quake. Staff comforted them immediately and now they all remain emotionally stable," Ren said.

Food and water supply for pandas are guaranteed in the base, Ren said, adding that power and Internet resumed around 4 o'clock in the afternoon.

The base has 30 staff member on patrol tonight to brace for potential damages from other secondary disasters.

An endangered species in China, giant pandas live mostly in the seven nature reserves in Sichuan Province, most of which have been affected by major earthquakes over the past years.

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