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Giant Panda Museum Established in Southwest China
A newly-built giant panda museum in Wolong Nature Reserve of southwest China's Sichuan Province will open to the public late this month.

Fifteen panda specimens and four panda skeletons, as well as 420 animal displays and 86 plant samples are due to be shown.

With an investment of 20 million yuan (US$2.4 million), the museum includes six exhibition halls, covering a total area of 4,074 square meters(1.019 acres).

With multi-media technologies, the museum can virtualize the panda's habitat to help visitors better understand the creature's habits and evolutionary history.

A panda protection and research center in Wolong Nature Reserve boasts 65 pandas. From 1991 to 2001, the center used artificial methods to breed 53 pandas, 41 of which have survived.

The giant panda is one of the rarest animals listed by the state for protection.

Records show that China now has roughly 1,000 pandas, distributed in more than 30 panda protection areas.

(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2002)

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