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Guangzhou bids for panda-breeding base
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Guangzhou has launched a bid to be a new giant panda-breeding center after the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province suffered damage in the quake.

Zhang Delu, assistant to general manager of Guangzhou Xiangjiang Safari Park, said his center is applying to the State Forestry Administration (SFA) for permission to do so.

If permitted, Guangzhou will become one of the few protection centers qualified where pandas can breed in captivity.

"I think the park has all it takes for panda breeding with the state-of-the-art infrastructure and our rich experience of taking care of rare animals like pandas, koalas and golden monkeys," Zhang said.

Only Beijing and the provinces of Sichuan and Fujian have panda-breeding centers now. Xiangjiang Safari Park has 10 pandas, five of which reached there on Thursday from the Wolong center, just 30 km from the epicenter of the quake.

Zhang Hemin, chief of the Wolong Nature Reserve Administrative Bureau, said 54 pandas have been moved out of the center, with only seven left.

Eight were flown to Beijing on May 24 for a six-month stay. Eighteen were transported to the Bifengxia base in Ya'an, Sichuan province, on June 18.

(China Daily June 27, 2008)

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