Associated Press

BEIJING — China plans to build a center where giant pandas born in captivity will be trained to survive in the wild, state media reported Thursday.

The $8.8-million center will be in Sichuan province’s Dujiangyan city, according to Zhang Zhihe, the head of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The facility is expected to house three to five giant pandas when it is completed within five years. The center will include 21.5 acres of an experimental zone, along with 2,800 acres of woodlands, Zhang said.

Groundbreaking for the new center starts at the end of the month, Xinhua said.

Giant pandas are among the world’s most endangered species. Some 1,600 pandas live in the wild, while more than 300 pandas are raised in captivity in China.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2010/05/china-announces-plans-to-train-captive-giant-pandas-for-life-in-the-wild.html

 

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