China / Society

Wild panda takes to streets in Sichuan

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-05 21:37

CHENGDU - A park security guard in a township in Southwest China's Sichuan province got a shock on Thursday morning when he played back overnight CCTV footage and saw a special guest - a wild panda.

Wild pandas rarely venture into areas populated by humans, but this one had somehow found its way to the gate of a public park in Yingxiu township of Wenchuan county. It showed up on the CCTV footage from about 2 am.

"The panda looked well and seemed to suffer no injuries in the video," a manager from the park said.

The animal is seen trying to climb over the gate but failing several times. It then makes its way over two zebra crossings and finally gets inside the park by clambering across a raised flower bed.

The security guard called the police and Wolong Nature Reserve - which, at some 40 km from the park, is the nearest giant panda reserve. It has sent staff to look for the panda in Yingxiu.

The township has never seen a giant panda before, a local said.

Official survey results showed on Saturday that there were 1,864 giant pandas living in the wild worldwide as of the end of 2013. That number is an increase of 268, or 16.8 percent, over a previous survey conducted in 2003.

According to the survey, which was conducted by the State Forestry Administration, Sichuan Province is home to 74.4 percent of the wild giant pandas in China.

In May 2008, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake wreaked havoc on Wolong. More than 100 captive pandas were transferred elsewhere.

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