China sees panda baby boom

China's endangered pandas are having a baby boom with the country's breeding centres reporting a record number of births this year.

    China says just under 1600 pandas survive in the wild

    According to state news reports, breeding centres reported 25 births this year through artificial insemination, with 21 of the cubs surviving.

     

    There are believed to be 1590 giant pandas living in the wild, with another 161 in zoos worldwide, the government says.

     

    Scientists have tried since the 1960s to increase their numbers through captive breeding and artificial insemination.

     

    "The year 2005 has witnessed the largest number of surviving newborn pandas in China's history of artificial fertilisation," the China Daily newspaper quoted Zhang Zhihe, director of the Chengdu-based Giant Panda Breeding Technology Committee, as saying.

     

    "We owe this achievement to Chinese scientists," Zhang said.

     

    'Valuable experience'

     

    "We owe this achievement to Chinese scientists"

    Zhang Zhihe,
    Director Giant Panda Breeding Technology Committee

    "They have acquired mature technologies and valuable experience after years of hard work."

     

    Sixteen of the surviving baby pandas were born at the Wolong Giant Panda Breeding and Research Centre in the southwestern province of Sichuan, where most pandas in the wild live, according to Zhang.

     

    Last year, 30 artificially fertilised giant pandas produced 12 offspring but only nine survived, according to the reports.

     

    Zhang and his team have shown pandas videos of mating in the wild in hopes of encouraging them to breed, according to the China Daily.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months