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China opens new panda breeding facility

Oct. 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM   |   Comments

DALIAN, China, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- A panda house opening at a zoo in northeast China's Liaoning Province is the region's first center for panda breeding and exhibition, officials said.

The facility in the Dalian Forest Zoo of the city of Dalian will be inhabited by three giant pandas -- females named Fei Yun and Cai Zhen and a male named Jin Hu, a zoo spokesman said.

The pandas were brought to the house for its opening Saturday from the Bifengxia Panda Base at the China Wolong Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

Keepers from the Sichuan facility have accompanied the animals to help them adapt to their new environment, the zoo spokesman said.

Giant pandas are among the world's most endangered species, with about 1,600 living in the wild, mostly in the mountains of Sichuan, while more than 300 live in zoos and preserves.

Sixty percent of habitats and more than 70 percent of the wild giant panda population are now under protection, said Zhang Xiwu, director of Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Management Division of China's State Forestry Administration.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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