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Albino panda caught on camera in Sichuan reserve

China Daily | Updated: 2023-05-29 09:49
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The all-white panda is caught on camera in the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan province in February. [Photo/Xinhua]

CHENGDU — Infrared cameras have captured footage of the world's only all-white panda approaching a mother panda and her cub in the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan province, reserve management authorities said on Saturday.

In the footage recorded at the end of February, the all-white panda walked toward the mother panda and the cub resting in a tree hollow and signaled its desire to interact. The mother panda remained calm and didn't move.

When the mother and her cub eventually left, the all-white panda returned and smelled the spot where they had been.

"The cub in the footage is about one to two years old, and the all-white panda is nearly the size of an adult. By the end of February, adult wild pandas in Wolong are in the estrus (mating) season, during which female pandas with cubs can be very aggressive when an adult panda approaches or invades," said Wei Rongping, a senior engineer at the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas.

"This female panda was extremely calm and did not behave as expected. One possibility is that she is the mother of the all-white panda," Wei added.

There are a further 15 video recordings of the overlapping trajectories of the three pandas over a short period, according to the reserve's management.

The distinctive panda was first spotted on infrared cameras at an altitude of about 2,000 meters in the Wolong National Nature Reserve in April 2019.

With no spots and red eyes, it was determined that the wild giant panda was an albino, and is thought to be the only one of its kind.


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