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Panda Yong Liang-The First Panda Raised By Hunman

Yongliang

15 September 1992 – 15 August 1997

Mother : Yong Yong

Father : Liang Liang

Habitat : Beijing Zoo

Yongliang only lived for five years. Perhaps people don’t find it familiar when hearing his name, yet the twin brother of Yongliang is very famous, and that is Yongming, living in Adventure World in Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan.

However, our protagonist of the day is Yongliang, the first giant panda that is entirely artificially nurtured in the world.

The oldest family of captive giant pandas live in the Beijing Zoo, they’re from the Sichuan wilderness (Dudu, male) and (Fangfang, female), who are the ancestors of this family. In 1974, Dudu and Fangfang gave birth to Daidai, female. In 1986, Daidai and Lele, which was also from the wild, gave birth to Liangliang. And Liangliang was the father of Yongliang. Its mother Yongyong was from the wild too.  

The outstanding genes from several generations of ancestors gave Yongliang a very strong life, and with the constant care of the keepers, Yongliang was given the opportunity to survive.

In the middle of the night of September 14, 1992, Yongyong gave birth to the brother of the twins, Yongming.

In the early morning of the next day, another brother of the twins, Yongliang was born. With two cubs, the mother Yongyong chose the big brother Yongming. She picked the cub up with her mouth and licked it carefully in her arms.

Yongliang was abandoned by Yongyong. He was constantly struggling and calling on the ground, yet his mother wouldn’t react.

After a few minutes, the breeder Mr. Liu Zhigang picked up Yongliang and put him into the nursery box that had already been prepared in advance.

Yongliang thus grew up in an artificial environment.

Afterward, the breeder, Liu Zhigang said,

“Yong Liang was abandoned by his mother 2 minutes after his birth, which gave us a false alarm. When Yongyong took the baby, her body moved a little, and at this moment, she almost pressed against the cub. If she bumped into it a little, the cub would possibly lose his life.”

At birth, Yongliang was a healthy baby: “it weighted 150g, with its body length as 18cm, its tail was 6cm long.”

For panda cubs, the mother’s colostrum is extremely important.

“Panda cubs are born with a very poor immune system. They rely on the immune components in breast milk to gradually establish its own immunity. In order to increase the immunity of the panda cubs who do not have the opportunity to drink their mothers’ colostrum, an artificial feeding method could help improving their immunity as well.

Scientists and technicians have analyzed the milk of giant pandas and they have configured the artificial colostrum according to the ingredients in the breast milk. From the situation of the growth and development of panda cubs, the composition of the artificial colostrum is basically reliable.”

Compared with his brother Yongming, Yongliang was even more pampered. Fortunately, there were many “Daddies” to take care of the cub, and the health of Yongliang was not weaker than that of Yongming.

When it comes to intelligence, Yongliang was not weak either!

Mr. Liu Zhigang told us, “Yongliang is intelligent and very benevolent.”

“During one of my night shifts, when I approached Yongliang’s room, I was completely shocked by what I saw and my mind went blank. The room was open and Yongliang was missing. I was so anxious that I changed into my work clothes at once and started looking for Yongliang. The nursery room had a total of 10 rooms, and there were several outdoor sports fields connected.

The room of Yongliang was in the innermost part of the nursery. I looked for Yongliang in each room, and when I arrived the room that’s the nearest to the outside, I heard some “sa sa” sound from the sports field. I immediately ran forward and looked. And my worries instantly faded away with what I’d seen. I saw that Yongliang was eating leaves on the ground, and I couldn’t help but burst into laughter when I saw his relaxing look. I told him, ‘little guy, you made me so desperate!’ Then, I checked each room again and saw that everything stayed in its original position…it’s not that Yongliang didn’t pass by these rooms, but he didn’t make any damages at all. If it happened to other pandas, I’m quite sure most of the things would have been destroyed already. You can see how kind and civilized Yongliang was:”

Then, how did this “prison break” happen?

The answer is this –

“That day, I happened to be outside the room of Yongliang. I suddenly heard the doorknob of his room. Then, I looked up and saw that Yongliang was standing up straight, and he was biting and twisting the doorknob. I didn’t quite get what he was doing, but before I realized it, he already opened the door and was ready to run outside. I hurried to stop him. I suddenly realized that the cubs had learnt what the breeders were doing daily – turning the doorknob and going outside. Since the doorknob was broken, I had to install a bolt outside the door and the issue was solved.”  

Yongliang: see how smart I am!

Since Yongliang had been raised by his breeders, he’s very close to them. When he became an adult panda, he still wouldn’t attack his breeders. And he was always cooperative for body checks and vaccinations. Yongliang even sometimes demanded to be fed by his breeders.

Unfortunately, Yongliang passed away one month before he turned five years old.

Without breast milk, Yongliang was congenitally deficient. He had deficiencies in his immunity and his bodily conditions became worse. In the end, he had to return to Heaven…

For the twin brothers, Yongliang left the world pretty early, and his brother Yongliang has lived in Wakayama, Japan since 1994, giving birth to the famous , Yongliang left the world early, and his brother Yongming has lived in Japan’s Wakayama since 1994, and has given birth to the famous “Bing” family. Despite the different fates of the two brothers, they marked a miracle of life.

The survival of Yongliang is a milestone, representing the tenacity of life, while Yongming is the symbol of the continuation of life. He has been the oldest panda father who naturally mates.

Although the researchers still have not found the secret of breast milk of giant pandas, and newborn cubs still highly depend on their mothers’ milk, Yongliang has given us hope in this regard.

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Panda Bass-The Most Famous Panda

The Giant Panda Bass (1980.11-2017.09), a female panda, is known as the “beauty panda”, and is the oldest panda in the world. In 1990, the Beijing Asian Games mascot “Pan Pan” was made based on Bass.

On September 13, 2017, Bass died in Fuzhou at the age of 37.

“Bass” is the prototype of the 1990 Asian Games mascot, “Pan Pan”. She’s born in Ba Si Gou, Baoxing County, Sichuan Province in 1980. Bass was 4 years old in 1984. At that time, people encountered a large scale of bamboo blossoming.

When Bass was eating, she mistakenly entered into the glacial river channel. Later, she was rescued by the peasant Li Xingyu. As the name of the place where she was rescued is called Ba Si Gou, Li Xingyu then named the panda “Bass”.

Bass, born in 1980, turned 30 years old in November 2010 (it was equal to human being’s one hundred years old, as the ratio of the age of pandas and that of human beings is 1:4). We hope that she can set a new record.

Due to the establishment of the Fengbuzhai Nature Reserve in the past few years, the conditions of feeding and management were limited. After the approval by the State Council, Bass was sent to the Fuzhou Giant Panda Research Center (Fuzhou Panda World).

Under the good care and training of the breeders, Bass has gradually grown into a world-class superstar – she’s able to sway, ride, shoot, and lift weights.

In 1987, Bass was dispatched by the State Forestry Department to represent the China Wildlife Conservation Association and traveled to the United States to perform skills there.

Within six months in the United States, more than 750 newspapers, TV stations and radio stations issued nearly 20,000 related news in the United States, Japan, France and Canada, spreading the performance of Bass to the whole world. It was once known as the “Stunt Panda”, “Friendship Angel” and the “Divine Superstar”.

In 1990, Bass was invited by the organizing committee of the Asian Games to participate in the 11th Asian Games in Beijing. Since then, the mascot of the Asian Games, “Pan Pan” has become globally famous.

In 1991, Bass was invited by CCTV to participate in the National Spring Festival Gala.

In 1992 and 1993, he was dispatched by the State Forestry Department and went to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Jinan, Beidaihe and other places to raise funds for the national implementation of the Giant Panda Habitat Protection Project. 

Regarding scientific research, In 1998, Bass donated somatic cells to heterologous cloned giant pandas until the formation of early embryos. This innovation was selected by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Engineering as the top ten scientific and technological advances in China in 1999.

In 2001, Bass was the first giant panda in the world to be diagnosed with high blood pressure.

On July 23, 2002, Bass was in Fuling Guling Mountain Resort in Fuzhou to spend the summer, because her blood pressure was twice as high as the normal one, causing blood vessel rupture and massive bleeding. After a week of coma, she was saved. Bass is also known as the world’s first giant panda who had a surgery to remove cataracts.

The Director of the Giant Panda Research Center, Chen Yucun, prepared for the the operation for half a year. (See case record). This is the first successful cataract surgery of giant panda in China, filling a gap in the medical history of giant pandas.

On November 12, 2010, CCTV made an interaction between the live broadcast car and the opening ceremony of the Asian Games. On the 13th, more than 1,000 giant panda experts and local residents from around the world hosted a grand “100-year-old” birthday celebration for Bass.

In 2014, the 34-year-old Bass was about to spend her 35th birthday in the Panda World in Fuzhou.

At 10 o’clock on the morning of January 18, 2017, the celebration ceremony of Bass was held in the Panda World (Fuzhou), the vice minister of the Propaganda Department of Fujian Province, Xu Yanna, and the vice mayor of Fuzhou, Li Chun, guests and panda fans from all over the world gathered to celebrate the the birthday of Bass.

On September 13, 2017, the life of Bass came to an end, and she died in Fuzhou at the age of 37.

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Panda Bai Yun

After 27th April, the panda “Baiyun” (meaning white cloud), who has lived in the San Diego Zoo for 23 years, will return to China with his son “Xiao Li Wu” (meaning little gift).

Her father is “Pan Pan”, the world’s most fertile panda.

Baiyun is the first panda born in the breeding center of Wolong Reserve.

In order to “introduce” pandas, the San Diego Zoo went through a tough time. They made all kinds of efforts, and spent several years before they made some achievements in the United States, China, and the World Organization for the Protection of Animals in this area.

The application materials that were submitted contained more than 8,000 pages! After several rounds of applications and rejections, they persevered and even lobbied the then US President Bill Clinton to support them. Under the interference of the top leaders of China and the United States, Baiyun and another male panda “Shi Shi” (meaning little stone) finally landed in Santiago in 1996.

Baiyun and Shi Shi arrived in San Diego, and on that day, they attracted tens of thousands of people. The day itself was called “the combination of the Super Bowl, the World Baseball Final and the Oscars.”

Time flies, and 23 years have passed. Baiyun has always been the “treasure of the zoo” of the San Diego Zoo, and she has set a lot of records in history.

Bai Yun’s first daughter, “Hua Mei”, was the first living panda cub born outside of China.

Baiyun gave birth to a total of six cubs, she’s the most fertile female panda, known as the “heroic mother.”

In 2012, Baiyun gave birth to her sixth youngest son. The child’s name was decided as “little gift” (Xiao Li Wu) after a vote of 35,000 people on the website of the San Diego Zoo. At the time, the 21-year-old Baiyun was the second oldest “maternal” panda in the world, only two days later than the first.

As for the ” pandas who have served in overseas for 23 years”, it is estimated that only Baiyun has made that record.

San Diego and the people who love pandas throughout the United States have far more affection for Baiyun than other pandas. They have witnessed Baiyun from her “youth” of 5 years old, to her “elderly age” of 28 years old today.

Every time Baiyun became pregnant and gave birth, it became a hot topic that caught much attention. They have also watched Baiyun and her second husband “Gao Gao” giving birth to one child after another, and watched their babies grow and being sent back to China.

At the end of last year, her husband Gao Gao also returned to China.

The last child of Baiyun, “Xiao Li Wu”, has been staying with her all along.

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Panda Qi Zai-The Only Brown Panda

On November 1, 2009, a panda cub called Qi Zai was found in Shaanxi Province, China. Its body shape and behavior are the same as the usual black and white panda, the only difference is that it’s in brown.

Brown pandas is a relatively rare variant of pandas. As of 2009, only five brown pandas had been found, and they are all found in Qinling, Shaanxi.

Why would there be brown pandas? Experts have come up with the following four assumptions:

According to the first assumption, it is suggested that its appearance may be due to the abnormal content of trace elements, affecting the hair pigment synthesis in the soil and water sources of the Qinling areas, leading to the synthesis of melanin in the pandas’ hair.

However, if such is the case, pandas found in this area are supposed to be appearing in all sorts of colors which range from black to brown, instead of merely brown. Nonetheless, such types have not yet been found so far.

The second assumption is that the formation of brown hair is caused by genetic mutations, but the probability of factors affecting pandas’ coat color, due to genetic mutations in nature, remains relatively low.

The third assumption suggests that the brown coat is an original trait. That is, such a color represents how the ancestors of pandas were like.

The fourth assumption suggests that such a color is the result of the combination of recessive genes.

Assuming that the color of hair is controlled by a pair of genes, the gene determining the coat as brown is a recessive one. Only when the parents of the brown panda have carried such genes at the same time, their descendants may appear to be homozygous for the recessive genes, thereby growing brown hair. 

Although the fourth assumption seems to be relatively complete, people still possess limited information to it. Further researches are necessary to unveil the real cause of brown pandas.

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Panda Jia Jia-The oldest Panda

Jia Jia (1978-2016), female giant panda, pedigree 230, belonged to one of the first pair of giant pandas (the other was An’an, male) presented to Hong Kong by the mainland in 1999 to celebrate the second anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to the PRC. 

Born in 1978 in Qingchuan, Sichuan, the most obvious feature of Jia Jia is that there is a V-shaped gap in its right ear, which is estimated to be caused by injuries in the wild when it was small.

On July 28, 2015, Hong Kong Ocean Park celebrated its 37th birthday for the female giant panda “Jia Jia”. On the same day, the Certification Officer of the Guinness World Records announced that “Jia Jia” had renewed two Guinness World Record honors, becoming “the longest-lived captive giant panda to date” and “the longest-lived captive giant panda in the world”. According to the reports, a 37-year-old panda is equivalent to a 110-year-old human being.

China Daily. October 17th.

According to a comprehensive foreign media report, on October 16, the world’s longest-lived captive giant panda “Jia Jia” died at the age of 38 in Hong Kong Ocean Park. Wild pandas typically live around 18 to 20 years of age.

In the last few weeks before her death, Jia Jia was apparently eating much less. Her daily intake of bamboo dropped from more than 10 kilograms to less than 3 kilograms, and her weight also dropped from 71 kilograms to 67 kilograms. In her last two weeks, Jia Jia’s health deteriorated sharply. And in the last few days, Jia Jia became less and less awake and had no interest in food at all.

In the morning of the 16th, the situation of Jia Jia took a turn for the worse and could not even move around. The veterinarians from the Fisheries and Conservation Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Ocean Park agreed to euthanize Jia Jia after performing medical consultation and treatment on her.

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Panda Hao Hao

Giant panda “Hao Hao” – female, born on 7 July, 2009. Her father was “Ling Ling” and her mother was”Hua Mei“. They were the first pandas born in China and returned to China. “Hua Mei” was also a famous “hero mother”. After returning to China, she gave birth to 7 fetuses, 10 cubs.

“Hao Hao” was a lively and active panda, she’s a “barbarous girlfriend” in the panda world, and she liked to make a mess.

“Hao Hao” had a large and round face, she had exquisite features and was the standard beauty of the panda world. On 27October, 2010, the good-looking “Hao Hao” was selected as the giant panda of the Asian Games, and she went to Guangzhou to cheer for the 16th Asian Games.

“Hao Hao” liked eating bamboo sticks, she currently weighs 118 kilograms and she eats 25 kilograms of bamboo, 1400 grams of wowotou, 250 grams of apples, 450 grams of carrots a day.

At 8: 2 am Beijing time on 2nd June, the 7-year-old giant panda living in Belgium at the China Giant Panda Conservation and Research Center “Hao Hao” successfully gave birth at Paradise Zoo. The cub of Hao Hao was the first panda born in Belgium, and the first panda born overseas in 2016.

In August 2019, Hao Hao, living in Belgium at that time, gave birth to a pair of twins.

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Panda Bei Bei Returns To China

It was reported on January 19 that on that day, the male giant panda “Bei Bei”, born and raised at the National Zoo in Washington DC, ended his four-year career in the United States and returned home by taking a special plane.

“Bei Bei” enjoyed his last “American Breakfast” – bamboo leaf biscuits on the morning of the 19th. It then moved around in the courtyard until the zoo staff put it in a “voyage box”.

The zoo prepared Bei Bei’s favorite food for him to enjoy on the way, including 66 pounds of bamboo, 2 pounds of apples and pears, 2 bags of special leaf cookies, 2 pounds of sweet potatoes, and some water.

Subsequently, the “voyage box” carrying “Babe” was slowly transported out, and the staff finally said goodbye to it.
“Bei Bei” flew from Dulles International Airport to Chengdu by special plane in the morning of the 19th. The whole journey took about 16 hours. The special plane transportation was undertaken by FedEx.

According to the report, “Bei Bei” boarded the “FedEx Panda Express”, which is a customized Boeing 777 freighter. The transportation team had been planning and preparing since the beginning of October, with more than 100 staff involved. Bei Bei’s trip marked the 8th time to transport pandas by the “FedEx Panda Express.”

According to the panda breeding agreement between the National Zoo and the China Wildlife Conservation Association, pandas born in the United States would return to China when they are 4 years old. “Bei Bei” was born in 2015 and turned 4 on August 22 this year.

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Panda Qiao Qiao

At 13:35 on December 12, the staff of The China Research Center For The Protection of Giant Pandas successfully recaptured the giant panda “Qiao Qiao” and its cubs in the wild of Tiantai Mountain. After recapture, they would be carefully inspected by the staff of the Protection Center.

The information and data obtained from the inspection could serve as an important reference for future research on the introduction of giant pandas in the wild environment.

“Qiao Qiao” is the second giant panda successfully introduced and born in the wild after the Giant Panda Wild Introduction Project in 2017. After the giant panda “Cao Cao“, its cubs were the first pair of cubs born in the wild.

According to the relevant personnel in charge of the management office of the Wolong Hetaoping Base of the Panda Center, in March this year, the giant panda “Qiao Qiao” was sent to Tiantai Mountain for introduction to the wild. In early April, Qiao Qiao successfully mated with a wild male panda. The staff then continued to monitor it in the wild.

On the morning of September 16, “Qiao Qiao” showed obvious prenatal behaviors such as walking frequently and irritability. At 11:55, the amniotic fluid of Qiao Qiao leaked, and at 13:06 “Qiao Qiao” gave birth to a cub. At 15:45, it successfully gave birth to a second cub.

One of the young cubs was sent to Shenshuping base by the staff for artificial nurturing, and the other one was nurtured by Qiao Qiao. Today, the little cub that was “caught” was the same one that was nurtured by Qiao Qiao.

Why was it done like that?

According to the relevant person in charge of China Giant Panda Protection Research Center, artificial captive pandas will be put into the wild environment after wild training, and they would mate with wild pandas.

The pups that would participate in the breeding process can add new genes and vitality to the captive panda population. This practice can achieve the exchange of genes between the wild and captive populations.

“The successful introductions for three consecutive years have allowed us to further explore and study new ways of wild training and release, allowing wild-introduced pandas to independently deliver, bring up panda cubs and realize releasing themselves in the wild, thereby effectively improving the genetic diversity of the wild population, enabling the revival of small panda populations in the wild.”

Following the successful introduction of the giant panda “Cao Cao” in the wild, Qiao Qiao successfully gave birth to a pair of twins introduced in the wild, which once again proved the professionalism and scientific nature of the technical strength of the Panda Center. Furthermore, it also proved the scientific nature and feasibility of introducing giant pandas in the wild.

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Panda Ming

In 1937, Ming was born in Sichuan, the hometown of giant pandas. In the era when people still didn’t have the concept of animal protection, she was captured and resold several times, and eventually fell into the hands of the American banker Floyd Tangier Smith.

Smith is known as the “Panda King”. He appeared in the Sichuan and Xikang areas all year round, and he has acquired more than ten living giant pandas, but about half of them died unfortunately before even being sent. Because of several resales, no one knew where “Ming” came from. All we know is that “Ming” boarded a journey to Europe with 7 other pandas.

At that time, the Chinese people were fighting against the Japanese invaders. The original plan of descending along the Yangtze River to Shanghai could not be implemented. Only through land, from Sichuan to Guizhou, Guangxi, and Guangdong, and after several rounds, they finally arrived in Hong Kong.

According to Smith’s memories, there were a lot of mobs and the road was bumpy. The giant pandas were transported in a cage and by truck. One of the trucks turned over midway and there were two giant pandas escaping temporarily. When he loaded the ship in Hong Kong, he found that another panda had died.

The five surviving giant pandas were loaded onto the deck of a freighter. After a difficult voyage in January, they finally arrived in London in a snowstorm on Christmas Eve in 1938. Unfortunately, a panda named “Grandma” unfortunately contracted pneumonia and died two weeks later. 

The remaining four giant pandas, one of them called “Little Happy”, was bought by a German animal dealer and was moved to various zoos in Germany. It was finally sold to the United States. The names of the remaining three pandas were “Bei Bei”, “Little Fool” and “Little Angry”. “Ming” was still a little cub at that time, and it was called “Bei Bei”.

The London Zoological Association, which manages the London Zoo, has acquired “Bei Bei”, “Little Fool” and “Little Angry”. The new owner has studied a lot about Chinese history. The three pandas are named after the Chinese dynasties – “Tang”, “Song” and “Ming”.

“Ming” quickly became a star of London at that time, and its image frequently appeared in cartoons, postcards, toys, newspapers and magazines in the UK, even TV programs that had just started were enthusiastic to take videos of Ming.

In 1939, World War II broke out. The following year, Germany launched an unprecedented bombardment of Britain. The appearance of “Ming” had injected a rare hint of joy and pleasure into the tense atmosphere, which is especially valuable to the unsettled British children. 

At that time, the Chinese writer and artist Jiang Yi, who was living in London at the era, went to the London Zoo and saw the British people queue up outside the giant panda pavilion.

They were all looking forward to having closer contact with the giant pandas. Jiang Yi subsequently authored two illustrated books – “The Fairy Tales of the Ming Dynasty” and “The Book of Treasures and Giant Pandas”.

The famous British photographer Bert Hardy once took a photo that has spread all over the world. In the photo, the panda “Ming” seems to be playing with the tripod to take pictures of the photographer’s younger son, Mike. It looked pretty serious and people couldn’t help but burst into laughter after seeing this picture.

Later, the war became more and more serious. From 1940 to 1941, German aircraft bombarded 16 British cities including London, killing more than 40,000 citizens. The giant panda “Ming” was transferred to the Hewlett-Packard Snyder Zoo in the east of England, but was still often brought back to London to “meet his friends”. The panda “Ming” was like a stream of light in the dark, warming people’s hearts.

Unfortunately, it didn’t survive long enough to see victory. One day after Christmas 1944, it passed away with an unknown cause.

That day, it was snowing. The death of the giant panda “Ming” has caused mourning throughout the whole of Britain. The Times specially published an “obituary” for Ming, “it has brought happiness to so many souls. If it’s aware of this, then I’m sure it could leave happily. Even during these turmoil times in war, its departure is still worth remembering.”

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Panda Cao Cao-The First Wild-Bred Panda

On the 29th, the reporter learned from China’s Giant Panda Conservation Research Center that the wild-bred panda “Cao Cao” successfully gave birth to a pair of heterosexual twins at the Wolong Hetaoping Wilding Training Base. This is the first time that twins have been born since the implementation of the giant panda wild introduction project.

According to the person in charge of the Wolong Hetaoping Base of the China Giant Panda Conservation Research Center, in the morning of July 25, “Cao Cao” showed obvious prenatal behaviors such as frequent walking and irritability. After 13:00, the amniotic fluid of Cao Cao leaked and at 13:35, Cao Cao gave birth to a cub. According to preliminary identification by experts, the first cub was a male and weighed 215 grams. The second cub was female and weighed 84 grams.

At present, the condition of the two cubs is rather stable. The first cub is nurtured by Cao Cao, and the second cub has been transferred to the Wolong Shenshuping base for artificial breeding by panda experts based in China’s Giant Panda Conservation Research Center. After the wild introduction experiment of giant pandas in 2017, the wild introduction of captive giant pandas has achieved another important stage.

Cao Cao is a female giant panda rescued from the wild by the China Giant Panda Conservation and Research Center in 2002. She is currently 16 years old. Previously, Cao Cao had bred 5 fetuses and 7 cubs, of which two were twins, including the first panda introduced to the wild, Tao Tao.