Catastrophic Flood in NW China Poses No Threat to Giant Pandas

The disastrous flood that swept Fuping County in northwest China's Shaanxi Province on June 8-9 poses no threat to the local giant pandas, sources said Friday.

About 100 wildlife workers have been sent to the county's nature reserve to check out the giant pandas' situation, and they have found no evidence of pandas drowning or suffering injuries.

"Though the flood has caused great losses to the county, it poses no threat to the giant pandas here," said Wang Wanyun, director of the wildlife protection station of Shaanxi Province.

"The 400 mm of rainfall can't do any damage to the forest on high mountains where giant pandas live, and will not hurt the pandas' major food bamboo," said Zhang.

Bai Fan, an official with the Shaanxi provincial forestry department, said they have had no reports of casualties among giant pandas or other rare animals such as red ibis and golden monkeys.

The nature reserve in Fuping County has a large area of bamboo forest and is an important habitat of giant pandas in the province.

On June 8-9, a heavy rainstorm caused flood that rushed down the mountains and scoured the county, resulting in many casualties among residents and serious property losses.

(Peoples Daily June 15, 2002)

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