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  China very close to cloning pandas
Updated 28 November 2002, 13.52
Baby panda just after its birth at a Chinese breeding centre
Scientists in China say they're just a step away from being able to clone giant pandas.

Pandas are highly endangered, partly because of the way they behave as a species: they don't mate very often and have babies quite rarely.

So experts want to give them a helping hand by creating a cloned baby panda.

Cat used in panda cloning

Pandas' mountain forests are being destroyed
They've figured out most of the process but now they need to develop the embryo in the womb of another species, like a bear.

Believe it or not they tried to do it with a cat but the cat died.

They have to do it this way because giant pandas just aren't that great at staying pregnant and giving birth.

This year Chinese scientists have succeeded in breeding nine giant pandas in zoos - they made the females pregnant by artificial methods.

Some people say it would be better to save mountain forests in China where pandas live to give them a better chance of survival.

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PicturesCute panda pix!
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Past StoriesBORDER=0
World's oldest panda dies aged 35
Dating agency for giant pandas
Easter bunnies get the cloning treatment
Cat is world's first cloned pet

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