Giant pandas face food scarcity due to quake damaged bamboo forests in China

June 24th, 2008 - 5:34 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, June 24 (ANI): The devastating earthquake in China has not only given a blow to men in the quake-hit region, but has also taken a toll on the pandas living in the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base as they are facing food scarcity because of the damaged bamboo forests.

Almost 67 pandas in the natural reserve are staying hungry after the May 12 quake damaged bamboo forests.

Wang Chengdong, an official with the base said that the seismic activity in the region has damaged the bamboo forests in Dujiangyan, Mianyang, Jiangyou, Pingwu and Ya’an, causing food shortage for the pandas, reports China Daily.

In an interview to the Chengdu-based Tianfu Morning Post, a breeder said that the bas had to allot bamboo quotas for the bears, who should have eaten more bamboo during the breeding season.

Wang said that usually, an adult giant panda used to excrete10 kilograms of faeces perday, but it has now come down to 2-3 kg because of scarce food.

Though, the breeders were feeding these pandas with feed and fruits other than the bamboo, the bears were not getting a good supply of their favouritre food bamboo shoots which is normally abundant in this season.

However, Hu Jinchu, a panda expert with China animals institute, said that bamboo shortage would not last for long.

He stressed that being a bamboo-rich province, there were still bamboo forests undamaged in other parts of Sichuan , and it wont be late when new bamboo would grow up on the quake-ravaged land.

China ’s major giant panda habitat, home to about 1,400 of the wild bears, suffered great damage in the quake. The State Forestry Administration, reported that the tremor affected 28.5 million mu (about 1.9 million hectares), or 83 percent of the country’s total area of the panda habitat, with 8.3percent being completely destroyed. One panda died in the quake in Wolong nature reserve. (ANI)

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