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Giant Panda Rewild Project

Wild training methodCubs raised by the mother pandas (the wild training method as known to the public)Artificially assisted soft wild training 1Artificially assisted soft wild training 2
The chosen panda cubsThe parents themselves are wild pandas or wild pandas, with precious wild blood.The parents themselves are rescued wild pandas or the second generation of wild pandas, with precious wild blood. Before the age of 1-2, the cubs are no different from the pandas in an ordinary captivity. They are raised by the breeder and the biological mother. They are in contact with the same kind. They are close to humans and other companions from an early age, and there is no wildness in them.They’re the 4th or 5th generations of pandas in captivity. Before the age of 1 to 2, the young cubs are no different from the pandas in an ordinary captivity. They are raised by the breeder and the biological mother. They are exposed to the same kind and are displayed for close contact with the tourists. They are close to human beings and the same kind from an early age. There is no wildness.
Brief description of the methodThe training is divided into three phases – all three phases are carried out in a simulated wild training field (the second and third stage training fields are indistinguishable from a wild field). Cubs grow up independently from their mothers by birth, they do not get into contact with humans and the same kind. They do not eat artificial food. The breeder, the researcher cover the entire face and body with a special panda suit coated with the mother’s stool. The mothers teach the cubs survival skills such as to look for food, look for water source, mark territories, drive invaders, and avoid natural enemies.After the cubs are selected to participate in the wild training, they mainly learn the wild survival skills independently at the training venue, supplemented by the researcher’s teaching. There is no isolation of human beings throughout the training.After the training, the cubs become wild and strong, they would be able to choose their nest, food, mark the site and drive the invaders. The survival skills in the field are greatly improved compared with the ordinary captive pandas.After the cubs are selected to participate in the wild training, they are taught by the researchers in a  simulated wild training field during the day, and they’re taught survival skills such as looking for water sources, avoiding natural enemies, driving the invaders (by putting the natural enemy model into the training ground, and the researchers teach them this skill by driving away the cubs.) When their performance is good, the researcher feed the cubs with honey and reward them with kisses, strokes, etc. In the evening, they return to the artificial beast setting, and are taken care of by the breeder and the mother (it might not be their birth mother). When they’re not in training, the cubs are visited by tourists in the exhibition hall. The whole process of training does not involve isolation of humans and the same kind, and they feed on artificial food. Cubs appear to be more docile than in captivity after the training.
Duration of trainingTwo years to two years and a halfThree yearsThree months to one year
Cubs which have undergone this trainingTao Tao (male), Zhang Xiang (female), Hua Jiao (female), Xin Yuan (Female), Xue Xue (female), Zhang Meng (female), Hua Yan (female)Xiang Xiang (male)He Sheng (male), Qian Qian (female)
Cubs which have successfully returned to the wild after the trainingTao Tao (male), Zhang Xiang (female), Hua Jiao (female), Zhang Meng (female), Hua Yan (female)  
Cubs which have failed to return to the wild after the trainingXin Yuan (Female), Xue Xue (female)Xiang Xiang (male)He Sheng (male), Qian Qian (female)
Success rate of returning to the wild using this method71.40%0%0%
Research institute that has implemented this training methodThe China Research Center For The Protection of Giant Pandas
The China Research Center For The Protection of Giant Pandas
: this method was denied after Xiang Xiang’s failure to return to the wild in 2006, and this method has been abandoned.
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
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