Wild giant panda population

Biologists dressed as pandas

December 12th, 2010
panda cub

Wonderful news story and pictures from the Guardian of Chinese biologists dressed as pandas as part of a plan to reintroduce captive pandas into the wild. The young cubs must not be habituted to humans if the plan is to work.

Despite resembling a particularly feverish ursine nightmare — or surreal TV show — these photographs, taken last week in Sichuan province, China, document the latest efforts to safeguard the endangered animal.

The cub, which was born to a captive mother over the summer at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Centre for the Giant Panda, in Wolong nature reserve, is being prepared for a life in the wild. If all goes to plan the animal, who weighs just over 8kg (18lb), will be the first such panda to go back to its natural habitat.