Researchers in northwest China on Wednesday reached out to the
world for help with a surgery plan for a disabled giant panda, which needs an artificial paw.
"Niu niu," 12-13 years old, is in dire need of a new paw, so she
can live normally, mate, and become a nurturing mother, the
Shanghai Morning Post said today.
The panda lost two thirds of her left paw in a fight with three
pandas on December 28 in a mountainous area in Taibai County, Shaanxi Province, said a local wildlife
"Niu niu was badly injured during the fight and was rescued by a
local farmer," Ma Qingyi, head of the center, told the newspaper.
"Now, we are so happy to see she is recovering well, and her weight
has increased from 56 kilograms to 73 kilograms."
However, Niu niu cannot keep her body balanced without her
entire left paw.
"She is at the prime age to breed, but she cannot mate normally
as others do, which adds to the difficulty in inducing captive
pandas to mate," Ma said.
She even has difficulty walking.
Ren Jianshe, vice director with the center, said the search is
urgent and the center is inviting domestic professors to discuss
the feasibility of mending or adapting an artificial paw.
(China Daily March 9, 2007)