Wild Giant Panda Spotted on Highway in SW China
A wild giant panda appeared on a highway in Shimian County, Ya'an City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, on Saturday, and a villager captured the scene with his mobile phone while driving through a national nature reserve on his way home.

Upon learning about the sighting, researchers of Liziping National Nature Reserve immediately came to the spot to search for traces of the panda in order to determine its physical condition.

The nature reserve's administration director, Luo Wei, said they would build a file for the giant panda in their panda DNA database.

These Baby Pandas Will Make
Your Chinese New Year
At the China Conservation and Research Centre for Giant Pandas in Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, these panda cubs have just made their first public appearance.

As the baby pandas were presented to the cameras, one appeared shy and covered its eyes with both paws when it saw the crowd, while the other went rogue and crawled away from its keeper before getting caught.

The black-and-white fluff balls, each in the arms of a keeper, appeared in a playground with New Year decorations including lanterns, Chinese knots, paper cars and flags.

A number of bamboo baskets embossed with the Chinese character "fu," meaning good fortune and blessings, were prepared for the pandas, to replicate the tradition of adults giving red envelopes with money inside to children during the Lunar New Year - a way of offering good wishes and blessings.

Instead of money, the baby pandas were being given snacks. Some of them were very curious about the baskets, while others got distracted by the toys nearby. Their ages range from four to six months, and all of them were the product of a natural mating process, according to the keepers and researchers.

As of December 2020, there were just 44 panda cubs worldwide, and more than half of them were bred in China. The country is home to more pandas than any other, and champions its achievements in the preservation of this endangered species.
#PandaStory: Adventure Awaits!

On Sunday, Feb. 21, giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji turned 6 months old. To celebrate, our half-birthday boy tried yet another new food: homemade applesauce. We placed a big dollop on top of one of his enrichment toys. He sniffed the sweet purée and lapped it up quickly at first. A few bites in, though, he paused and took in the taste. Unlike cooked sweet potato (which he quickly gobbled up), his reaction to the applesauce was much more tepid. It seemed as if he wasn’t sure if he liked it.

We used sweet potato to introduce Xiao Qi Ji to a new toy: a small rubber tub. Keepers smeared some sweet potato inside and, of course, that piqued his interest! At first, he was quite cautious about the tub because it kept flipping up when he put his paws on the edge and leaned on it. Eventually, he climbed inside and sat for a few moments before he dragged it back to the den, where he played with it some more.

Xiao Qi Ji is growing bigger and stronger by the day. On February 20th he weighed 27.5 pounds (12.49 kilograms)—2.7 pounds heavier than he did Feb. 10.

If you tuned in to the Giant Panda Cam this week, you may have seen Xiao Qi Ji venture farther into the outdoor habitat than he did during his first outing last week. He is acclimating well to the great outdoors and, for the most part, explored the habitat on his own. His mother Mei Xiang accompanied Xiao Qi Ji on a few of his many “laps” around the yard but did not stick by his side. Instead, she opted to eat bamboo and checked on him from time to time.

Xiao Qi Ji had a great time climbing on the log structures and the new hammock. This seems to be his favorite hangout spot. When he reached the top of the climbing structure, it took him a while to figure out how to get down. Mei Xiang helped him down to the ground once. Apart from that instance, Xiao Qi Ji climbed down all by himself. Occasionally he took a tumble, but panda cubs are robust and have dense, wooly fur to cushion their landings. 

Wednesday was filled with so much adventure and excitement that Xiao Qi Ji fell asleep in the hammock. With Mei Xiang relaxing in their indoor enclosure, keepers entered the yard, picked up the sleepy cub and brought him inside.

With much of his attention focused on the climbing structure, Xiao Qi Ji has not attempted to climb the trees in the yard yet. But, we expect that will come soon. We will continue to give him access to the yard as long as the weather is nice and relatively warm, and we have keepers available to monitor him. On those days, the best time to see him outside on the Giant Panda Cam is between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. EDT.

First Wild Giant Panda Caught on Camera in 2021
A wild giant panda in the Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve in southwest China's Sichuan Province is the first that has been caught on camera in 2021.

The panda was filmed at 17:30 on Jan 13, 2021, at the Motianling Conservation Station of the reserve.

The wild panda looks quite large. After analyzing the footage, the nature reserve's staff said it was a healthy male.

Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve has captured evidence of pandas many times through infrared cameras, with wild pandas seen up to seven times in the area in 2020.

Ariella Helps the Pandas

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