Pandas to return to famous China reserve in 2012

September 20, 2009

(AP) -- Sixty pandas relocated last year from a famous Chinese nature reserve after their breeding center was severely damaged by a massive earthquake will return home after repairs in 2012.

The panda breeding center in the Wolong nature reserve in southwest China's Sichuan province is undergoing a 379 million yuan ($55 million) reconstruction expected to be completed by 2011, the official Xinhua News Agency said late Saturday.

The Wolong reserve's location in a damp, narrow valley several hours from Chengdu, the Sichuan capital, made it vulnerable during the 7.9-magnitude quake, which sent boulders the size of cars crashing down, destroying enclosures and administrative buildings.

The May 12, 2008, quake left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing, including 12 staffers at the panda center.

The center had 63 pandas before the quake, but one died, another went missing and a third died of illness, Xinhua said, citing Luo Zengbin, deputy head of the provincial forestry department. The surviving pandas have been moved to zoos elsewhere in China, with most sent to the Bifengxia panda base in the city of Ya'an.

About 1,590 pandas are living in the wild, mostly in Sichuan and the western province of Shaanxi. An additional 180 have been bred in captivity.

Wolong is part of efforts to breed giant in hopes of increasing the species' chances of survival.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: U.S. and China study giant pandas

Related Stories

U.S. and China study giant pandas

November 27, 2005

A team of Chinese and U.S. zoologists Sunday began a joint study of wild giant pandas in northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

To catch a panda

December 10, 2007

Michigan State University’s panda habitat research team has spent years collecting mountains of data aimed at understanding and saving giant pandas. Now a graduate student is working to catch crucial data that’s black, ...

China announces first panda from frozen sperm

July 24, 2009

(AP) -- China announced the first successful birth of a panda cub from artificial insemination using frozen sperm, giving a new option for the famously unfertile endangered species, officials said Friday.

China panda population stable: report

September 19, 2009

China's wild panda population has remained stable despite last year's Sichuan earthquake that damaged key areas of the endangered species' habitat, state press said Saturday.

Recommended for you

Head and body lice read DNA differently

July 28, 2015

What makes head lice different from body lice had scientists scratching their heads as previous genetic studies failed to find any substantial differences between the two types of lice.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.