Panda Aid -Bambo Forests Destroyed

The devastating Sichuan earthquake in May 2008 destroyed much of the wild pandas’ habitat and devastated large swathes of bamboo forest, their staple diet. Giant pandas living in China’s southwest quake-ravaged Sichuan province may starve this winter due to severe food shortages.
One panda had already died despite emergency efforts by the Wolong Panda Breeding Centre, China’s best known reserve, and other centres have reported similar cases, the Shanghai Morning Post reported.
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“Pandas are facing an extremely difficult winter as the earthquake destroyed much of their habitat and ruined most bamboo at low altitudes,” Wolong’s director Zhang Hemin was quoted as saying.

“We cannot rule out the possibility of more wild pandas falling ill or even dying during the winter,” Zhang was quoted as saying.
Experts were considering relocating the Wolong centre, which was near the epicentre of the May 12, 8.0-magnitude earthquake, but it would take seven years to complete.

The center was built in 1980 and has been at the forefront in the battle to save the endangered species as a leading site for captive panda breeding.

There are currently more than 150 wild pandas and 142 captive pandas at the center. One captive panda died, one went missing and another was injured during the May 12 earthquake.

Zhang said the catastrophic earthquake also traumatised the pandas.

“Up until now, some pandas still walk extremely slowly as if worrying another aftershock could come at anytime, but we are giving them tender care to help them,” Zhang said.

There are 1,400 wild pandas in the quake-hit region, representing about 88 percent of the country’s total. Sichuan is their main home, with others living in nearby provinces.

Note If anyone knows  how to reach the doctors treating the pandas, please forward contact information to naturescrusaders@naturescrusaders.com

Note: Is it time for a panda drop rescue like the dumbo drop of old? – Mother Nature

Text and image courtesy of – Staff Writers  Shanghai (AFP Dec 11, 2008   quoted in Terra Daily Dec 15, 2008

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