China to construct new panda breeding base in Sichuan

April 19th, 2009 - 3:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Shaan Chengdu (China), Apr.19 (ANI): China has announced plans to construct a new breeding center for giant pandas around May to replace the former quake-leveled habitat in southwestern Sichuan Province.

Xinhua, the official news agency quoted officials as saying that the new China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center will be located in the Huangcaoping area, about 10 kilometers from the former one.

The new base would come up in the Wolong nature reserve that was wrecked by the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in May 2008, said Huang Jianhua, the Party chief of the nature reserve administration.

The new base includes 25 projects funded by Hong Kong, totaling about 1.3 billion Yuan (about 191 million U.S. dollars), and 19 projects funded by the state forestry administration, totaling about 270 million Yuan.

A panda disease control and prevention center is also in the pipeline and is to be completed in 2010 in Dujiangyan, a city near the Sichuan provincial capital, Chengdu.

There are about 1,590 pandas living in the wild around the country, mostly in Sichuan and the northwestern provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu. Another 180 are being bred in captivity. (ANI)

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