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No pandas affected in Sichuan quake

By Huang Zhiling | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-04-20 13:10

No pandas in the Bifengxia base of the Wolong Nature Reserve were killed or injured in the magnitue-7.0 earthquake which took place in Lushan county in Southwest China's Sichuan province at 8:02 am on Saturday.

"There have been no casualties of people or pandas in the Bifengxia base although buildings shook like in the Wenchuan earthquake (in Sichuan on May 12, 2008 which left about 90,000 dead or missing). But cracks can be seen in some buildings. The roads leading to the base from Ya'an are inaccessible because of the quake," said Zhang Hemin, chief of the administrative bureau of Wolong.

Ya'an, which is 18 km from the Bifengxia base, is a city which has Lushan under its administration.

"Most of the pandas in the Bifengxia base witnessed the Wenchuan earthquake and the quake in Lushan would not have a major negative impact on them," he said.

With a population of some 12,000, Lushan is 31 km from Ya'an. According to Xu Mengjia, secretary of the Ya'an municipal committee of the Communist Party of China, 46 people had been found dead and more than 400 were injured in the quake.

In 1869, Armand David, a French missionary, was the first European to discover the giant panda in Ya'an, and introduce the animal to the West.

Wolong has some 170 captive pandas and more than 80 are in its Bifengxia base in Ya'an.

Live report on Sichuan earthquake

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