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US zoo provides aid to panda breeding center
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The San Diego Zoo in the United States has joined relief efforts to aid a giant panda base in Sichuan province which was hit hard by the May 12 earthquake.

"Our colleagues at the Wolong center have already shown tremendous heroism in their efforts to save the giant pandas in the wake of damage done by the earthquake," said the coordinator Dr Ron Swaisgood.

He is co-leader of the conservation center at the San Diego Zoo, about 128km south of Los Angeles.

Donations to a relief fund for the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center in Wolong can be made at the San Diego Zoo's giant panda conservation center or online at www.sandiegozoo.org, said Dr Swaisgood.

The Wolong center is only 30km from the epicenter of the 8.0-magnitude quake. A total of 14 giant pandas were removed from the Wolong center due to shelter damage and food shortage. Two of the 53 pandas kept at Wolong center were injured and two are still missing.

Yesterday, eight pandas selected by netizens to add cheer to the Beijing Olympics arrived in the capital from Wolong. The 2-year-old pandas will stay at Beijing Zoo.

Wang Pengyan, an official from the Wolong center, said "The pandas have recovered from the panic and are all in good condition."

(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2008)

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