China To Train Pandas To Survive In Wild

China plans to build a center where giant pandas born in captivity will be trained to survive in the wild, state media reported Thursday.The $8.8 million (60 million yuan) center will be located in Sichuan province’s Dujiangyan city, according to Zhang Zhihe, the head of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The facility is expected to house three to five giant pandas when it is completed within five years. The center will include 21.5 acres (8.7 hectares) of an experimental zone, along with 2,800 acres (1,128 hectares) of woodlands, Zhang said.Groundbreaking for the new center starts at the end of the month, Xinhua said.

Giant pandas are among the world’s most endangered species. Some 1,600 pandas live in the wild, while more than 300 pandas are raised in captivity in China.
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Bones, Not Bamboo, Sate Wild Panda's Appetite

Hunger drove a wild panda to break into a Chinese farmer’s pig pen and eat their food, which was meat and bone, rather than bamboo.State-run China Central Television said the giant panda had apparently descended from the mountains in a region of southwest China’s Sichuan province and was spotted in a field before the animal was found inside the pig pen, chewing on bones and spitting out the meat.

After eating its fill, the panda quietly left.Although classified as carnivores, the giant pandas’ diet is mainly bamboo, but it also eats other foods including honey, eggs, fish, oranges and bananas when available.Scientists believe there are around 1,600 giant pandas living in the wild in China, mostly in the mountains of the southwest.

The endangered species are considered a national icon and its existence is threatened by logging, agriculture and China’s increasing human population.


(source)

Bones, Not Bamboo, Sate Wild Panda's Appetite

Hunger drove a wild panda to break into a Chinese farmer’s pig pen and eat their food, which was meat and bone, rather than bamboo.State-run China Central Television said the giant panda had apparently descended from the mountains in a region of southwest China’s Sichuan province and was spotted in a field before the animal was found inside the pig pen, chewing on bones and spitting out the meat.

After eating its fill, the panda quietly left.Although classified as carnivores, the giant pandas’ diet is mainly bamboo, but it also eats other foods including honey, eggs, fish, oranges and bananas when available.Scientists believe there are around 1,600 giant pandas living in the wild in China, mostly in the mountains of the southwest.

The endangered species are considered a national icon and its existence is threatened by logging, agriculture and China’s increasing human population.


(source)

The Lessons In Courtship We Can Learn From Animal

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LOVE IS A DRUG

Most male mice are happy with just a short moment of passion – a quick knee-trembler behind the skirting board with a partner, and then he’s off. But a male Californian Mouse is the opposite: he seems a perfect mouse-husband who stays in to help groom and feed his mousewife, bringing her water, doing the housework and helping to look after their babies.Proof that he’s fallen head over paws in love? No, simply that the clever female has drugged him.She produces hormones in her urine that he finds intoxicating. Something in his brain is triggered by the scent, and he becomes her slave, working to exhaustion.Sound familiar? It should do. Because love is a drug for humans, too. When we fall in love, our brains swim with opioids – a natural intoxicant from the same class of chemical as heroin – and similarly addictive
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Sixteen Panda Cubs Pose For A Class Shot On Their First Day At Nursery

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Posing for their first day at their new nursery, these 16 panda cubs are clearly going to be a handful.In these amazing images, the tiny pandas are shown their new home for the first time after being separated from their mothers.The curious cubs were soon exploring their assault course home complete with umbrellas and ballons to welcome them on their first day.It was the first taste of independence for the youngsters at the Wolong National Nature Reserve, in Sichuan Province, south west China.
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China Plans Fifth Panda Breeding Centre

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China plans to open a fifth breeding centre for giant pandas in an effort to boost the population of the notoriously sex-shy species, state media reported on Wednesday.Four young adult pandas are due to arrive at a zoo in the central city of Changsha on May 1 from a breeding base in southwestern Sichuan province, which was hit by a devastating quake in 2008, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Xie Zhongsan, an official at the Changsha Zoo, in Hunan province, said a cooperation agreement had already been signed with the breeding base in Sichuan to launch the new facility.”We are waiting for the forestry authorities’ approval of the new breeding base,” he was quoted as saying.”We plan to arrange for two to three panda experts to take care of the giant pandas and we’ll learn how to help them breed,” he added.

There are four other giant panda breeding bases in China — one in Beijing, one in northern Shaanxi province and two in Sichuan, the report said.Pandas, one of the world’s most endangered species, are a national treasure in China.
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Beloved Panda Born At National Zoo Headed To China

National Zoo Panda

A young giant panda who became a major attraction after his birth at Washington’s National Zoo will leave for China early next year for breeding.Zoo officials announced Friday that Tai Shan (pronounced “ty shawn”) will be leaving the Smithsonian Institution park as soon as January or February. Panda mother Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) and father Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN) are on a 10-year, $10 million loan to the zoo until December 2010.

Under the Smithsonian’s panda loan agreement, any cub born at the zoo must be returned to China for breeding. Tai Shan was born in 2005 and was granted a two-year extension in 2007. Panda cubs are also slated to leave the zoos in Atlanta and San Diego.
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