Monday, February 16, 2015

Life Imitating Nature — Wenchuan

At Wolong National Nature Reserve, Chinese scientists face
the challenge of caring for a population of 150 giant pandas
 and reintroducing them into the wild to support this highly
 endangered species. The adult pandas have lost the skills
 needed to survive independently of humans, so the reserve
 staff focus their efforts on the newborn cubs.
In order to teach the cubs real panda ways, any contact with
 their domesticated parents or humans has to be avoided.
 The scientists came up with a cunning plan: by dressing up
 as pandas, and mimicking natural panda behaviour,
they hope to teach the cubs by example.
Despite their best efforts, only two giant pandas have been
 successfully reintroduced to their natural habitat in the
past 30 years.
by Anne Miltenburg