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Last Updated: Friday March 11 2005 16:44 GMT

Saving pandas in Chengdu

Pandas
There are only about 1,700 pandas left in the world, so few that they need our help to keep them going.

Most of their natural habitat has been destroyed, so they depend on scientists and conservationists working together to look after them in special reserves.

The Panda Research Centre in Chengdu, China, is one place they are making progress.

Lots of scientists think breeding baby pandas in captivity, then releasing them into the wild is the best way to save them.

Difficulties

However, it's very hard to get pandas to have babies in captivity.

Nansai
Nansai was born in Chengdu
But four-month-old Nansai, who was born in Chengdu, like his mother before him, is a success story.

He's the 87th panda to be born in the centre, but scientists are still worried about the future of the species.

Dr Zhang Zhe He, head of the Chengdu, said "There's still a long way to go before we can say they're safe. But with continued help I hope the future for these great animals will be brighter."

That will mean releasing babies like Nansai into the wild, and that's still a long way off.



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