It’s a Pandaful Life!
How China Is Saving the Giant Panda from Extinction
Endangered species don’t have to become extinct if they receive good care. For instance, mother pandas can only rear one child at a time, yet they usually give birth to two. This is just one of the many risks to their survival in the wild. That’s why every year China invests a lot of funds and time to make sure that both cubs survive.
The Panda is China’s national treasure and so the people who work at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center are trained to do everything within their reach to save them. They are highly qualified professionals in fields such as veterinary, paramedical services, animal breeding, livestock engineering or any other related area of expertise. All their effort has paid off, and in 2016 pandas were taken off the endangered species list although they continue to be vulnerable. Many decades will go by before pandas born in captivity are able to mate with wild pandas. That is the ultimate goal.
Newborn pandas weight about 120 grams and they are probably some of the most helpless babies of all. They are hairless, eyeless, wiggling demanding little pink monsters that rely fully on the staff at the center and are considered the property of the People’s Republic of China. However, zoos are allowed to rent them from the state for a limited period and for a very high price.
But the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center is not just a laboratory; it’s also a zoo where millions of tourists and locals go every year to see how pandas are cared for. It houses approximately 170 pandas and many cubs are born every year.
Although the giant panda used to be found in other countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Burma, today it can only be found in Southwestern China. Pandas spend half their day eating bamboo and the other half digesting it. They produce up to 20 kg of droppings daily. Luckily their droppings don’t have a strong offensive smell.
One of the biggest issues the center faces is getting the pandas born in captivity to mate. They seem to have tried everything, including making the male and females watch videos of other pandas mating so they can know what to do. This doesn’t always give the desired results, though. What else can be done to get the pandas to mate naturally? Find out now.
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