LHboyatDTW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 968 times:
Apparently China doesn't find this as bizzare as I find it to be.
Quote: SHANGHAI Ã¢â‚¬â€ Scientists in China may use a police dog to teach pandas to fight after the first artificially bred panda released into the wild was apparently killed after a battle with other animals, local media reported on Saturday.
The Wolong giant panda breeding centre plans to have four pandas raised in captivity live with a specially trained police dog or other animals, the Chengdu Daily quoted reserve officials as saying. The officials could not be reached for comment.
The pandas would learn how to protect themselves by observing the dog, increasing their chances of survival when they were eventually released into the mountainous wilds of the far western province of Sichuan.
The world's first artificially bred panda to be released, a 5-year-old male named Xiang Xiang, was found dead in the snow early this year after less than 12 months out of captivity.
Scientists believe he fell from a high place after getting into a fight with wild pandas or other animals over food or territory.
China is now preparing to release a second batch of up to four artificially bred pandas. Many or all would be females, which may be less prone to becoming involved in fights.
Breeding pandas through artificial insemination and introducing them to the wild is an important part of China's efforts to save the species, which is now estimated to number between 1,000 and 2,000 in the wild.
Pandas chosen for release undergo years of training. Adult pandas need to spend up to 16 hours a day foraging and eating bamboo and almost all the remaining time resting or sleeping, making them vulnerable in harsh environments.
To boost captive pandas' low fertility rates and weak sexual desire, China has even resorted to showing them videos of other pandas mating.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia, Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
I am having a difficult time getting rid of two huge bamboo clumps on my boundary. Do you suppose I would be able to borrow a panda for a year or two until they have finished with the bamboo? The main competition here would be rabbits (apart from the black snakes), and I have never seen either of those pests climbing the bamboos!
HuskyAviation From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1155 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 907 times:
Quoting Baroque (Reply 2): I am having a difficult time getting rid of two huge bamboo clumps on my boundary.
I've heard from people that have planted bamboo on their property that it's almost impossible to get rid of. A panda would definitely be helpful--can you afford the US $1 million/year China charges for a pair of pandas?
Quoting LHboyatDTW (Thread starter): The pandas would learn how to protect themselves by observing the dog, increasing their chances of survival when they were eventually released into the mountainous wilds of the far western province of Sichuan.
Definitely weird, but it might work. Pandas apparently can learn by observing--China has taught new panda moms how to take care of their babies by showing them videos of other panda moms. Strange.
Baroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 893 times:
Quoting HuskyAviation (Reply 3): I've heard from people that have planted bamboo on their property that it's almost impossible to get rid of. A panda would definitely be helpful--can you afford the US $1 million/year China charges for a pair of pandas?
Stay tuned for a year or so and I will tell you if "impossible" is correct but very difficult is certainly spot on. I will start a collection immediately, but I don't give much for my chances. I will say that the bamboo has converted a slope of subsoil on which nothing would grow into relatively rich topsoil in the space of about 10 to 20 years, depending on which part of the patch we are talking about - about 50 metres long by about 6 to metres wide. Don't ask how many shoots, but think thousands.
Now to move to a triumph in reclaiming the area from the bamboos! I am just glad that the bamboo is the large sub-tropical variety and not the monster tropical species - that really would be a challenge. The growth patterns of bamboo are rather odd, so that might be another problem that the poor old pandas have.
I remember seeing a couple of pandas in the Beijing zoo in 1985, and they were so dirty it was barely true. And Beijing never struck me as a climate very conducive to bamboo growth.