China creating world's largest panda breeding centre

PandaNew Delhi, Apr. 22 : China’s Sichuan Province is building the world's largest giant panda breeding centre.

It is expected that the new nature reserve will house about 200 of the endangered animals.

The reserve will include 20 outdoor homes and a 20,000-sq-m playground, Zhang Hemin, chief of the administrative bureau of the Wolong Nature Reserve.

The giant panda is one of the world's most endangered species and is found only in China. An estimated 1,600 wild pandas live in nature reserves in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces, and 217 are kept in captivity.

The Wolong Nature Reserve covers 2,000 sq km and is China's first and largest reserve devoted to panda conservation.

By the end of last year, the reserve had bred 130 captive pandas from an original 10, the largest panda species group in the world.

Eight young pandas from the reserve will also leave their habitat for Beijing next month, to allow visitors from different parts of the world a glimpse of the endangered animals during the Olympic Games.

The increase in the number of pandas reflects the country's efforts in protecting animals and plants by establishing nature reserves, officials said.

The new reserve itself is part of green efforts that have seen more than 2,400 nature reserves of various kinds being set up, covering more than 15 percent of the nation's land area, official figures showed. (ANI)

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