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Last Updated: Friday March 09 2007 13:50 GMT

Poorly panda needs a false paw

Niu Niu

A giant panda who got into a fight in the wild needs a false paw to help her survive, animals experts have said.

Niu Niu lost part of one of her front paws in a scrap with several other pandas in China, and without it she's having trouble holding her food to eat.

Experts think giving her a false front paw could help her to recover enough to be able to return to the wild.

But first they need scientists' help to find a way to create a paw that Niu Niu can live with.

Niu Niu won't be the first animal to benefit from having a fake limb.

In Japan, scientists recently fitted a dolphin with a false tail, made of rubber, so that it can swim and jump around as normal.

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