30 panda cubs expected in 2017, total number to reach 250

Updated 2017-07-07 09:24:30 Global Times

About 30 panda cubs are expected to be born this year and the number of captive pandas will reach 250 in China, according to the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.

Zhang Hemin, director of the center, told the Xinhua News Agency that currently, there are about 230 captive pandas in the center and about 150 wild pandas in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

According to Zhang, the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 severely hit Wolong National Nature Reserve and forced it to relocate many captive pandas to other zoos across the country. These pandas came back to their home base before May 2016.

Zhang said that panda reserves in Sichuan had received help from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the center is also working with the HKSAR on helping the national treasure in Hong Kong breed.

Pandas are an endangered species due to extremely low reproductive rates in the wild. In captivity, they often give birth to twins and sometimes even triplets.

On April 24, a female panda in Sichuan gave birth to the first set of twins in captivity this year.

In June, panda pair Jiao Qing and Meng Meng from China arrived in Berlin, Germany and will stay in Berlin Zoo, the oldest zoo in Germany.

The arrival drew huge public attention in the German capital and across the Western European country as TV presenters and local residents rejoiced at the idea of seeing the cuddly bear near home rather than taking a long trip abroad.

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