Wild giant panda spotted in field investigation in Shaanxi
A rare wild panda broke into the sight of staff members of the Giant Panda National Park in northwest China's Shaanxi Province a few days ago.
The sub-adult panda seemed curious but timid in this unexpected meeting with human beings, climbing on a tree immediately and staring.
According to the administration of Giant Panda National Park, the panda footage was captured on camera in a forest at an altitude of 2,400 meters by field investigation team members of the Mount Taibai branch of the Administrative Bureau on Thursday. It is the first time since 2015 that a wild giant panda was spotted in the area.
The difficulty of seeing pandas here has always rooted in this area's inability of providing them with enough food. The arrow bamboo, from which most wild giant pandas derive their nutrition, almost disappeared by 2015 with 60 percent of the plants dead. Since then, hardly any traces of wild giant pandas were found.
However, after nearly three years of recovery, the number of arrow bamboos is able to meet with giant pandas' need again.
"The returning of giant pandas shortly after bamboo flowering in a wide area deserves to research and probe, which actually indicates a positive outcome of years of our protection. It can be inferred that the panda herds in Taibai Mountains has expanded and their habitats recovered well. But we should also be aware of the other side of the story, which is the single food source, given such obvious effects on pandas brought about by the bamboo flowering," said Li Xianmin, a senior engineer with the Mount Taibai branch of the Administrative Bureau, Giant Panda National Park.
Staff members in the park said that they will keep monitoring this wild giant panda as well as the growth of bamboos, aiming at creating an appropriate method to help with the bamboo recovery thereby ensuring the food supply for wild giant pandas.
The park has an area of 27,134 square kilometers, and spans over three provinces of Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi, with about 74 percent of the area in southwest China's Sichuan province.