A revolutionary new technique developed by Chengdu’s breeding center seems certain to ensure that greater numbers of this endangered species can be raised to save it from extinction.
Just 1,600 Giant Pandas live in the wild, in 40 government-controlled panda reserves in the People’s Republic of China. The new breeding program has raised the number of animals bred in captivity to 300. This year 19 cubs have been born after artificial insemination programs in China’s two main breeding centers.
Scientists at the center have pioneered the twin swapping technique, in which pairs of cubs were alternated between the mother and an incubator, tricking the mothers into caring for two cubs at a time.
Pravda reports it is now considered that there are sufficient numbers being raised in captivity that wild reintroduction programs can be launched in the near future, probably within 15 years.