Scientists Dress Up as Pandas to Fool Them (and Us?)


Photo: the Independent

O.k.; which one is the real panda and which is the scientist? It's a tough one: scientists in China are dressing up as pandas in order to prepare the bears for release into the wild.

Pandas are an endangered species, there are just 2,500 left and they can't get too used to human contact because it will make them too tame.


Photo: the Independent

China's pandas have disappeared because their natural habitat has disappeared in the last twenty years. Due to non-stop development in the country, their natural preserve has shrunk by half in size.

Chinese conservationists are trying a new strategy. They are releasing four pregnant animals into a protected area of the forest in order to prepare them and their future cubs for life in the wild.

They are monitored by 24-hour CCTV. The programme is taking place at the Wolong panda reserve in Sichuan province, south-west China.


Photo: the Independent

The Chinese now have 300 pandas which have been bred in captivity. They have used some very creative methods to encourage panda procreation: artificial insemination, special diets, 'sexercise' classes and even Viagra.

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Tags: Conservation | Deforestation | Endangered Species | Tourism

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