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Zoo in southwest China microchips endangered animals
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Zookeepers in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming, Yunnan Province are implanting digital identification chips in animals for better management and protection.

The stitching-needle-sized chips, provided by the State Forestry Administration, contain each animal's name, age, gender, species, birth date and birthplace, blood type and DNA information, said Li Youlong, head of the Animals Management Department with the Yunnan Wild Animals Park.

The chips will be injected into the necks, ear roots or tail roots of about 200 animals that are under Class A or B state-level protection in the zoo, such as Siberian tigers, African lions, hoolock gibbons and black swans, Li said.

"You won't see the chips," he said. "It'll help us better manage the animals, especially endangered animals."

Zookeepers began implanting the chips Monday and are expected to finish by June, Li added.

The Yunnan park has more than 10,000 animals from more than 110 species.

The State Forestry Administration has ordered all zoos to implant chips in 17 species, including tigers, lions, elephants, giant pandas, bears, golden monkeys, cranes and swans.

(Xinhua News Agency April 25, 2009)

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