Reseachers dress up to care for panda cubs

ITN News

by ITN News

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Caretakers at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Centre in China's western Sichuan province are dressing themselves as giant pandas to look after the cubs.

The Chinese researchers are taking on the disguise when they look after the captive born panda cubs to make sure they have minimal contact with humans in preparation for their release into the wild.

The idea is that the contact with humans makes it harder for the pandas to fit in with their own when they are released into the wild.

The pandas are continuously monitored by closed circuit television, and their keepers are always on hand to provide medicine, check-ups, or other necessities.

But before approaching the pandas, the caretakers always wear their costumes to make sure the cubs do not become accustomed to seeing humans.

Giant pandas are an endangered and highly threatened species. Only around 1,590 giant pandas still live in the wild, all in China, of which about 1,400 live in Sichuan.