China / Society

Tourists in rare wild panda sighting

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-12 18:31

CHENGDU - Sightseers in Tangjiahe Nature Reserve in Southwest China's Sichuan province got a rare treat on Saturday afternoon when they spotted a wild panda.

Though pandas only come into human contact once or twice a year in the reserve, the tourists observed the shy creature for a whole five minutes from their tour bus after they spotted it walking at the road side at an altitude of 1,150 meters.

Based on photos and film taken by the tourists, the panda is healthy, reserve staff said on Tuesday.

Tangjiahe Nature Reserve, located in the northwest of the Sichuan Basin, was established in 1978 for the protection of rare animals including giant pandas and golden monkeys.

Giant pandas are one of the world's most endangered species. About 1,600 live in the wild in China, mostly in the mountains of Sichuan, while more than 300 live in captivity. Sichuan is home to 74.4 percent of the wild giant pandas in China.

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