China Mourns Panda Killed in Earthquake

Mao Mao was one of 64 bears at Wolong nature reserve

By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 10, 2008 5:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – Workers at the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan province gathered today for the funeral of Mao Mao, a 9-year-old panda killed in the May 12 earthquake. Mao Mao, the mother of five, was one of 64 pandas at the reserve. She died when the river beside her enclosure crushed the walls, and her body wasn't discovered until yesterday, the AP reports.

"It's like you could say something and she would understand," said Mao Mao's keeper, who left bread and apples by her grave. "If you were happy, she was happy, too."

A panda rescued after the May 12 earthquake rests in a cage at China Conservative and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
Chinese panda keeper He Changgui prepares food for pandas at China Conservative and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
A house at China Conservative and Research Center for the Giant Panda is ruined in the May 12 earthquake in Wolong, in China's southwest Sichuan province.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
Panda keeper He Changgui, center front, and his colleagues at the Wolong giant panda research center mourn for Mao Mao, who died in the May 12 earthquake at Mao Mao's funeral, June 10, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
A panda rescued after the May 12 earthquake looks out from behind the bars of a cage at China Conservative and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
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