Tuesday, 18 September, 2007

The First Steps of an In-captivity born pre-term Panda

When the ancestors of human beings had only just learnt how to walk upright, the footprints of the Giant Panda were already all over East and South East Asia. But the peak population of the family of giant pandas has diminished greatly since then. Today, the total population of Pandas wavers at around one thousand, including some 100 animals in captivity. More seriously, in captivity few seem to have the natural desire to mate.
This year, a record number of 16 pandas have been born in captivity, according to China's Panda Breeding Programme. Because pandas in the wild number less than 1000, these sixteen babies are a significant addition to this endangered species population.This year the Wolong Chinese Giant Panda Protection Center has been successful in breeding two infants in total. It may seem like a small number, but around the world only 50 pandas are born every year and out of this number only 20 have a chance to grow up. Scientists are now investigating ways to get pandas bred in captivity back to where they belong - the wild. It is this that will complete the work of the researchers at the Wolong Chinese Panda Protection Center. Work which is ensuring the survival of the giant panda.
I recently came across these series of pictures of a pre-term Panda baby which would have made a baby-album proud! Pictures speak louder than a 1000 words & I will let you enjoy these from the pre-term delivery to 120 days of life...

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