A giant panda which went missing from a major panda base in southwest China's Sichuan Province after the May 12 earthquake was spotted alive about 5:20 PM on Sunday by a group of road workers.
The panda, named Xixi, was found playing at the other side of a river near the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in Wolong by the workers from the Chongqing municipality, said Zhu Xiaotao, one of the workers repairing the road damaged in the 8.0-magnitude quake.
The workers immediately informed the staff of the panda center, and tried to use a crane to take the panda raisers and anesthetists across the water to capture the animal, but the arm of crane could only reach the center of the waterway, Zhu said.
The raisers said Xixi is safe and they will continue to search for it Monday.
The panda was one of the two which are still missing after the the earthquake. A total of six pandas disappeared after the quake, but four later returned.
Pandas at the Wolong natural reserve are facing food shortage as the quake, continuous aftershocks and subsequent landslides damaged mountain roads.
Eight pandas were airlifted to a zoo in Beijing on Saturday, and another six have been taken to the Ya'an base which was less affected by the earthquake.
(Xinhua News Agency May 26 ,2008)