A panda cub born last week in a breeding center in southwest China's Sichuan Province has been given a special birthday present; its very own blog.
The blog, named "Baby Panda Home," debuted yesterday, and is hosted by Sina.com. Experts on panda protection hope that it will increase public awareness about the panda and endangered animals in general.
"We hope to raise awareness, especially among young people, about panda protection," Zhang Zhihe, head of the Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center in Chengdu, was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying.
The female cub, who is still unnamed, has been personified as a blogger posting stories about her life, her family and other pandas in the center.
Zhong Wen, a reporter with Chengdu Daily, has been tasked with writing the blog entries, which will be posted once or twice a week. Zhong is hopeful about keeping the blog running for the next 25 years, which is the average lifespan of a panda.
Blog entries or articles will also be published every Monday in Chengdu Daily, one of the blog's sponsors.
This is the first animal blog in China, Zhong told China Daily. "We will launch an English version in the near future on another website."
Internet users can read entries, view pictures and videos of the pandas at http://blog.sina.com.cn/u/1250332025.
Yesterday afternoon, the blog was launched with three articles and four photos.
By press time, it had received nearly 1,000 hits, and dozens of visitors left messages of support.
"I learnt about the blog this morning. It's a special blog and I will keep coming here to follow the growth of our national treasure," read one message.
Others expressed their gratitude to the blog's, and left suggestions for names for the cub.
(China Daily August 22, 2006)