A panda found near death in its wild habitat three weeks ago is recuperating at a research base in southwest China's Sichuan province, panda researchers announced Tuesday.
A panda found near death in a nature reserve in Dujiangyan city. After three weeks of treatment, vets said the panda was out of danger. [Chengdu Evening News]
The female panda, about 20 years old, was found dying in the wilderness of a nature reserve in Dujiangyan city on April 17, according to a press release issued by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
When a team of vets and panda keepers came to the animal's rescue, they found it was in a coma. The panda was skinny and critically ill with serious dehydration and wounds, the document said.
After first-aid, rescuers took it back to Chengdu for further treatment.
The panda was diagnosed of pancreatitis and myocarditis. It also suffered liver damage and had become a victim of parasites. It weighed only 62 kg, as against the average 120 kg for healthy adult female pandas.
Now isolated from other members of its species at the base out of infection fears, the panda narrowly escaped death and survived solely on intravenous injections of water, vitamin, medicine and other essential nutrients during the first week in Chengdu.
It took its first bite of bamboo on April 24, a sign it was getting better.
After three weeks of treatment, vets said the panda was out of danger. "But it remains under intensive care as it is still suffering malnutrition and multiple organ failures," the press release said. "Treatment also needs to continue for many days to come."
The panda was considered old, as the average life expectancy for such animals in the wild is around 20 years. Pandas bred in captivity, however, can live up to 30 years due to better nutrition and caring.
The Chengdu base, home to about 100 pandas, has been dedicated to wild panda rescue since the late 1970s, when bamboos in the wilderness bloomed and caused severe food shortages for the critically-endangered species.
Since then, the base has rescued 63 ailing wild pandas, 58 of which fully recovered to be released to the wild or take part in breeding programs in captivity at worldwide zoos.