A giant panda breeding centre in China has shown pictures of its new crop of cute babies.
The giant panda breeding centre in Chengdu, in south-west China’s Sichuan province, started with just six pandas in 1987 and now has more than 100.
The centre looks after red pandas and other endangered Chinese animals as well.
A group of giant panda cubs napping at a nursery in the research base of the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, in south-west China’s Sichuan province. Photo: AFP
Meanwhile, China has launched its once-a-decade panda census, trying to determine how many of the endangered animals live in the wild, amid efforts to boost numbers.
The census is also expected to ascertain pandas’ living conditions, ages and any changes in their habitat.
The census is the fourth since they were launched in the 1970s.
A keeper tucks in a group of giant panda cubs as they nap at a nursery in the research base of the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, in south-west China’s Sichuan province. Photo: AFP
The count a decade ago found 1596 pandas were left in the wild in China, with 1206 of them living in Sichuan.
Wild pandas are threatened by a loss of habitat, poaching and for being poor breeders.
Females in the wild normally have a cub once every two or three years.
Fertility rates of captive giant pandas – of which there are more than 300 in China – are even lower.