Baby boom for giant pandas


CHINESE scientists succeeded in breeding 10 giant pandas, a rare species on the brink of extinction, in 2002.  

Four baby pandas were born via natural or artificial insemination at the China Giant Panda Breeding and Research Centre in Wolong, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, last spring and all have survived, said Zhang Anju, director of the Giant Panda Breeding Technology Committee.  

At the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base and Chengdu Zoo, five of 10 mated pandas gave birth to six babies and four of them survived.  

Two more pandas were born respectively in Chongqing and Japan last year, and the baby panda born in Japan is owned by China.  

Giant pandas, the world's oldest and most endangered species, often encounter difficulties in mating and pregnancy, and suffer high infant mortality when in confinement.  

Since China began artificial breeding of giant pandas in the 1960s, scientists have solved key problems in mating, pregnancy and survival. – China Daily 

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