I read this great article on Neatorama and just had to share it with you guys! It’s about researchers dressing as pandas in order to successfully introduce cubs to the wild. Enjoy!
It may look as if they have escaped from a Disney theme park or a children’s party, but underneath these furry giant panda costumes lurk some of China’s leading conservationists.
The dressing up is just not for fun, say scientists, but an essential part of China’s ambitious strategy to reintroduce captive-bred Giant Pandas back into the wild.
In a new strategy, earlier this year conservationists released four pregnant Pandas into a protected area of Sichuan forest in order to prepare their future cubs for life in the wild.
Photo: FEATURE CHINA / BARCROFT MEDIA
Although notoriously fussy when it comes to mating, China has in recent years made great strides in its captive-breeding panda program, and this year attained the “magic 300” number of captive-bred animals, the target for starting to reintroduce them to the wild.
…before carefully returning him to the ‘wild’ where he is monitored by 24-hour CCTV Photo: FEATURE CHINA / BARCROFT
The innovative methods used to encourage the pandas to procreate – including, artificial insemination, special diets, ‘sexercise’ classes and even Viagra – are the subject of a BBC documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough to be screened this week. [BBC Two, 8pm, Tuesday Dec 7th] The film, Panda Makers, for which a crew spent two years filming at the Giant Panda breeding centre in Chengdu, China, shows the moment when the 300th panda was born.
I hope this actually works! It’s incredible how the other pandas must know something isn’t “right” with the human-raised cub. I wonder how they know? What do you think?
You can view the original article here.