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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 February 2007, 15:44 GMT
In pictures: Panda cub playground

Panda Xi Dou (R) is held by a feeder during a ceremony in Sichuan province

Eighteen panda cubs living in China's Wolong Nature Reserve have been named at a ceremony in Sichuan province.

Breeders play with panda cubs before a ceremony at China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda

Names for the five to seven-month-old cubs were chosen from about 30,000 entries submitted by the public after an appeal for ideas.

Baby panda Fu Wa

Tao Tao (playful in Mandarin) and Huan Huan (happiness) were amongst the most popular. The panda above was named Fu Wa after Beijing's Olympic mascot.

Panda cubs play with their keepers at a breeding centre

Panda cubs play with their keepers at a breeding centre

A Chinese paramilitary soldier plays with two air-inflated pandas

Workers at the nature reserve aided a record number of births last year in a mini baby panda boom.

Two giant panda cubs play at a panda reserve in China

After the ceremony, the cubs left their mothers for the first time to stay in a panda "kindergarten".

A panda cub tries to touch balloons at a nature reserve in China

The move is to help the pandas adapt to the humidity and group living. They will be resident until they are a year old.

Panda cubs play on a slide at a panda reserve in China

The giant panda is one of the world's most endangered species and is native only to China.

Panda cubs drink from bottles at a nature reserve in China

About 1,600 wild pandas live in nature reserves in Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces and 217 are kept in captivity.



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The 18 pandas are shown to the public





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