A total of six pandas were taken away on Friday from a major panda base in Wolong of southwest China's Sichuan Province because of damaged shelters and food shortage after the earthquake, a local forestry official said.
Soldiers on disaster relief work in Wolong help with transfering pandas from this Wolong-based Giant Panda Protection and Research Center to Ya'an, another base less affected by the quake on Friday morning, May 23, 2008. [Photo: Xinhua]
The pandas were taken by trucks from China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center based in Wolong to Ya'an, another base less affected by the tremor, said Xiong Beirong, an official with the Sichuan provincial forestry bureau.
The Wolong center was only 30 kilometers from the epicenter of the May 12 earthquake, which has claimed more than 50,000 lives.
"There is enough water now, but food is still a major problem. The pandas are in urgent need of bamboos and apples," she said.
She said center staff had repaired some of the damaged panda shelters after the earthquake, but they collapsed again in strong after-shocks.
The supply of bamboo was suspended as residents, struggling to cope with their own losses, stopped providing bamboo for the pandas.
After the earthquake, tons of bamboo shoots, apples, soybeans, eggs, milk powder and medicines were brought to the center, but the supplies could only last about a week, she said.
The Wolong center has a registered number of 86 pandas, including those loaned to other zoos.
On Friday, staff were still looking for two pandas which went missing from the center after the earthquake.
Workers transfer the pandas in China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center based in Wolong, southeast China's Sichuan Province Friday morning, May 23, 2008. [Photo: Xinhua]
(Xinhua News Agency May 23, 2008)