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Second panda pair to be released into wild

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-20 07:10

CHENGDU - Chinese panda researchers plan to release two giant pandas into the wild later this month under a program to help rebuild the wild population.

The China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan province said the captive-bred pair, a male and a female, have undergone survival training in Wolong for two years.

Ba Xi, the male, was born on July 26, 2015. The female, Ying Xue, is 14 days older.

Researchers at a meeting organized by the State Forestry Bureau earlier this month agreed that the pair are in good health and have developed the ability to live in the wild independently.

They will be the second panda pair to be released.

In October last year, 3-year-old Hua Yan and 2-year-old Zhang Meng were released into the Liziping Nature Reserve in Sichuan.

Researchers chose the same reserve for the second pair.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature reclassified the giant panda species as "vulnerable" - an upgrade from "endangered" - last year, thanks to decades of protection efforts. The population of captive giant pandas has reached 520 worldwide.

However, the captive stock lacks genetic diversity. China plans to improve the wild panda population by creating giant panda national parks, releasing more of the bears into the wild, and furthering scientific research.


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