Pandas Freed to Give Birth in the Wild

Experts will monitor captive-born animals in forest
By Marie Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2010 3:35 PM CDT
Pandas Freed to Give Birth in the Wild
Panda cubs from the Wolong Giant Panda Reserve Center in Sichuan are seen at a Shanghai zoo, Jan. 28, 2010. Wolong will release four pandas so they can give birth and raise their cubs in the wild.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

(Newser) – Four pregnant giant pandas are on the loose in a forest near the reserve where the captive-bred animals normally live, and they'll be allowed to give birth and raise their offspring there, the Xinhua News Agency reports. "We hope the mothers can teach their cubs life skills to help them survive in the wild," says an expert from the Wolong research center. " All of the carefully chosen pandas have experience of living in the wild."

Cameras in the forest will help Wolong experts keep tabs on the pandas, who will have a cool-sounding safety net. Says the expert: " If they need help, the workers will show up dressed in costumes that make them look like giant pandas, in order to reduce the animals' reliance on humans. " For more on American-born pandas Tai Shan and Mei Lan, who now live in China, click here.
(Read more giant pandas stories.)

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