Quake-Rattled Pandas Get Hugs, Bamboo

Bears recovering with help from keepers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2008 6:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – Zookeepers are helping pandas traumatized by the Sichuan earthquake get back to normal with hugs and games, the Guardian reports. Eight young pandas have been sent to Beijing Zoo and 47 more remain at the Wolong reserve, where the deputy chief said the animals' appetites are back to normal, but warns it will take up to 20 years for the center to fully recover.

Four of the center's staff died in the quake while others risked their lives to rescue panda cubs. "They were very scared and disturbed when the earthquake happened. They needed support from their keepers before they would eat again," one keeper said. "We talk to the pandas and play with them—that helps give them psychological support." (Read more panda stories.)