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Panda cubs make debut during National Day

By Huang Zhiling in Chengdu | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-24 00:52

Jiang Xue, a middled-aged panda fan in Chengdu, Sichuan province, was overjoyed when she learned she could see almost all the panda cubs born this year on display at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding during the upcoming National Day holiday.

"I learned 14 panda cubs about 1 or 2 months old would be on display in the two nurseries at the base. I'll take my 8-year-old daughter there," said the self-employed woman, who visits the base frequently.

Panda cubs make debut during National Day

Fourteen giant panda cubs, all born this year, make their debut at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding on Monday. The base said its 128 pandas form the world's largest captive panda population.[Huang Zhiling / China Daily]

Huang Xiangming, chief of the animal management division of the panda base, said panda from the base, including one in the United States and another in Spain, gave birth to 20 cubs from July 10 to August 30.

"Seventeen cubs are alive. Two are in the United States and one in Spain. The base will display the remaining 14 from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm daily during the weeklong National Day holiday which starts on October 1," he said.

From 10:30 to 11:30 am on the first five days of the holiday, eight Chinese martial arts masters will shadow-box at the base.

"What is unique is that all of them will be dressed like pandas. As shadow-boxing is slow, their movement will remind visitors of the laid-back lifestyle of the cuddly bear," said Luo Xin, an official in the marketing division.

From 1 pm to 2:30 pm on the first five days of the holiday, staff members will lecture on the status quo, habits and plights of pandas.

"They will tell children a panda can eat 25 kilograms of bamboo and between 25 and 50 kilograms of bamboo shoots a day. Because they are vegetarians, their droppings don't smell," Huang said.

About 1,600 pandas live in the wild in China, most of them in the mountains in Sichuan.

To arouse public concern for the plight of the endangered species and protect panda habitats, the base has built a makeshift exhibition hall.

"The hall will display pictures of Bifengxia in Ya'an, Jiuzhaigou (in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture), Mount Emei (in Emeishan) and the Southern Bamboo Sea in Yibin which are panda habitats," Luo said. All are located in Sichuan.

At 2:30 pm on the first five days of the holiday, a lottery drawing will be held for visitors.

"Winners will be awarded free trips to the panda habitats that are famous scenic spots in China," Luo said.

Set up in 1987 with six sick and hungry pandas rescued from the wild, the base is now home to 128 captive pandas.

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