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First wild panda cub spotted at Dafengding Nature Reserve in SW China

(CNTV)    14:36, September 28, 2018

Sighting of a panda cub in Dafengding Nature Reserve located in Meigu County, southwest China's Sichuan Province has raised hopes for the species revival in the wild.

At present only 1,864 pandas exist in the wild in China.

Two rangers during a regular patrol found the wild panda cub sleeping under a tree. "While walking half-way up the hill we spotted a sleeping panda cub," said Shamar Nyipu, a ranger at the Dafengding Nature Reserve.

According to authorities, a wild panda cub has been sighted first time in 40 years since the establishment of the Reserve. Rangers estimate that the spotted panda cub is around two-month-old and reportedly resides in a small cave.

At present, wildlife authorities claimed, around 22 wild pandas live in Dafengding Nature Reserve.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List after a census in 2016 changed the status of wild pandas from endangered to vulnerable. The change in status means the number of pandas is slowly increasing.

The decision was taken after conservation efforts raised the number of giant pandas by nearly 17 percent.

In late 1970s wild panda's number dwindled to 1,000 forcing governments and wildlife groups to launch conservation efforts to save the species from getting extinct.

Some of the significant decisions taken to boost their population include restoration of natural habitat, captive breeding, and a ban on hunting.

Limited mostly to six mountains in Gansu, Shaanxi and Sichuan provinces, pandas are facing adverse conditions for survival.

According to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) habitat loss due to change in land use pattern, construction of roads, landslides triggered by earthquakes, and climate change are responsible for shrinking panda population. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: 实习生2, Liang Jun)

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