Page last updated at 14:26 GMT, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 15:26 UK

Zoo sends aid to pandas in China

Giant panda - Robyn Rowles Photography
Two pandas from Wolong Animal Sanctuary have gone missing

Owners of Edinburgh Zoo are sending emergency aid to a Chinese panda sanctuary which was devastated by this month's earthquake.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which owns Edinburgh Zoo, is the first in the world to offer aid to the Wolong Animal Sanctuary.

Edinburgh Zoo is due to become only the eighth in the world to be given breeding-aged pandas from the reserve.

The pandas were to arrive in April 2009 but may come sooner due to the disater.

Five staff at the China reserve were killed, pandas have been reported missing and road closures wiped out the feeding schedule.

We're very concerned for our friends and colleagues in Wolong as the area is still unstable
Iain Valentine
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland is sending money and satellite communications equipment to an emergency fund set up by the China Wildlife Conservation Association.

Iain Valentine, head of animals, conservation and education for RZSS, said: "The Wolong Nature Reserve has been left absolutely devastated.

"We're very concerned for our friends and colleagues in Wolong as the area is still unstable.

"The National Park, as well as housing the Panda Conservation and Research Centre, is home to many people who live and work within the area.

"We are concerned for the welfare of the people, of the pandas kept in the centre and the wild panda population living within the reserve."


SEE ALSO
Calls to stop zoo's panda plans
15 May 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Giant panda hope for Scottish zoo
12 May 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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