Home / English Column / Environment / Environment -- Community's Efforts Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Giant Panda's Habitat Sees Man, Nature in Harmony
Adjust font size:

Five years after his amputation of a hind leg, giant panda Dai Li is strong, naughty and rather aggressive.

Despite difficulties to climb up a tree, the world's first ever giant panda amputee enjoys running around with his peers at a giant panda protection base in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

He may not remember how he got injured badly and was lifted out of danger by his human friends at one year old.

In February 2001, a giant panda cub was seen limping out of the bamboo forest in Baoxing County in the city of Ya'an, southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Obviously attacked by a wild beast, the cub was bleeding in the right ear, backside and left hind leg.

Two villagers, Sun Shuqiang and Yang Yong, carried him to the county hospital for emergency treatment, which lasted for 15 hours and finally lifted him out of danger.

But a subsequent purulent infection that was threatening the panda cub's life forced vets to amputate his left hind leg, after which he was sent to a nature reserve of China Giant Pandas Research Center.

"We named him Dai Li. 'Li' means 'stand on his feet' and we hope he'll live independently and survive on his own," said Cui Xuezhen, a forestry official with Fengtongzhai nature reserve.

Cui said he has been visiting Dai Li three to four times a year to make sure he is fine.

Fengtongzhai nature reserve was established in Baoxing county in 1979 to provide a natural habitat for giant pandas. It covers more than 40,000 hectares of land across five villages.

Baoxing county is where human beings first discovered the black-and-white bears that were later dubbed a "living fossil". In 1869, French missionary Armand David (1826-1900) found one of the cuddly bears in Baoxing county and introduced the unknown species to the world.

The local people have since learned to protect giant pandas and take care of the animals whenever they are in need.

When bamboos, giant panda's favorite food, bloomed in several habitats in Sichuan Province in the early 1980s, many villagers in Baoxing county chipped in to help starving giant pandas survive.

One family living in a village called "Happy Valley" even "adopted" starving giant pandas and fed them with candied rice porridge.

Bamboo will flower, seed and die toward the end of its life. Giant pandas, who are rather picky about food, will not eat the plant after it blooms and it takes 10 years for a new supply to grow. The bamboo blooming in the early 1980s caused the deaths of about 250 giant pandas.

Today, with ample food and nothing much to worry about, some pandas will take an occasional walk into the villagers' homes and farms in their leisure time.

"The villagers are always careful not to scare the animal, but they will observe carefully to see if it's sick or wounded," said Cui Xuezhen.

Last November, Gao Xiaowei, a woman farmer in Baoxing's Yanjing town, found an old panda lying motionless on a mountain road and immediately reported to the giant panda rescue station.

Timely treatment saved the life of the 15-year-old male panda, who was diagnosed of dyspepsia and a slight gastric bleeding, said Cui, who oversaw the rescue operation.

Giant panda is one of the world's most endangered species. Around 1,590 of them are living in the wild in mountains of Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces and another 180 are kept at worldwide zoos.

To better preserve the critically-endangered species, China is seeking to include the giant panda habitat of Sichuan Province, an 9,510-sq-km area including the world-renowned Wolong nature reserve, into UNESCO's World Heritage List.

The habitat is home to at least 300 giant pandas and a variety of endangered flora.

"It's great that our hometown is likely to become a world heritage site," said Li Guilin, a villager in Baoxing. "We'll do a better job to take care of the giant pandas and safeguard their homes."

The ongoing Vilnius session of the World Heritage Committee will review 37 new applications from 30 countries.

To date, China has 31 world heritage sites, including the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.

(Xinhua News Agency July 11, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
World Heritage Bid for Panda Habitat
Study: Giant Panda's Future Looking Brighter
China Reports 183 Giant Pandas in Captivity
New Plan to Protect Giant Panda Sub-species
Bamboo Tunnel to Reunite Panda Groups
One Small Step for Mankind -- One Giant Step for Pandas?
Giant Panda to Go Wild
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号