China / Society

China to release another giant panda

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-10-10 20:55

CHENGDU - Giant panda Xue Xue will be released into the wild on Oct. 14, researchers in southwest China's Sichuan Province announced.

After two years' training in habitat selection, foraging, and avoiding natural enemies, the two-year-old female should be able to survive in the the Liziping Natural Reserve, said a researcher with the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP).

Another panda, two-year-old female Xin Yuan, is expected to be released in November. Unlike Xue Xue, who will be released alone, Xin Yuan will be released in the company of her mother before living independently in the wild.

China started releasing captive-bred panda in 2006 with a five-year-old male Xiang Xiang. Xiang Xiang died after fighting with other males roughly a year later. Scientists have drawn lessons from the failure and improved training methods to help them adapt to the wild better.

In October 2012, Tao Tao, a male, was released in Liziping. In November 2013, the first female, Zhang Xiang, was released.

Researchers have been following them with the help of GPS collars, radio positioning tools and DNA extracted from their spoor. Monitoring data shows the animals are doing well.

Over the past 25 years, the CCRCGP has bred 243 giant panda, 208 of which survived. As of last year, the number of captive-bred panda reached 376 around the world.

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