Sick Giant Panda Saved in Sichuan

Updated: March 21, 2006 | Clicks: 1742

An elderly sick giant panda has been rescued by farmers in Baoxing County of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, local forestry authorities said Tuesday.

The 15-year-old female panda is out of danger, but will need a long time to make a complete recovery, said local panda experts onTuesday.

"After all, in human terms, she is like an old woman in her sixties," said the experts.

The sick panda was found in a construction site about 3 kilometers away from the county seat last Friday afternoon, and itwas sent to Fengtongzhai State Natural Reserve, a major wild habitat for endangered species in Baoxing later that day. Panda experts from the reserve found that the panda had lost two teeth, was very weak, had red eyes and was short of breath.

Experts from Chengdu, capital of the province, examined the sick panda, which only weighed 59 kilograms, on Saturday morning.

"The panda suffered from starvation, breathing problems and a fever. If she had not been found in time, she would have died," said the experts.

Giant pandas are among the world's most endangered wild animals. The forestry administration estimates there are 1,590 giant pandas living in the wild and another 183 kept in captivity on the Chinese mainland.

Wild giant pandas mainly live in mountainous areas in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces and their average life expectancy is around 10 years, less than half of the ones in captivity.

Xinhua news 21, March 2006

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