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Briefing on the Second Phase of the Captive Panda Wild Training Project
On June 20th, 2010, CCRCGP of Wolong held in Du Jiang Yan the meeting to start "The 2nd Phase of the Captive Panda Wild Training Project". Experts and management people i n areas related to panda behavior, ecology, nutrition, genetics, disease prevention and control from all China were invited to conduct the scientific proof for a second time on The 2nd Phase of the Captive Panda Wild Training Project in overall planning, contents and goals, experiment methods, selection of individual pandas for wild training etc., which marked the re-start of the Captive Panda Wild Training Project that was suspended by the influence of the May 12th Earthquake in Wenchuan in 2008.
On July 20th, 2010?Wolong CCRCGP transferred 4 pregnant pandas Caocao, Zizhu, Yingping, Zhangka to the "Hetaoping" Wild Training Base in Wolong for wild training, which declared that The 2nd Phase of the Captive Panda Wild Training Project had formally entered the phase of wild training for mother pandas with cubs.
Back to July 2003, CCRCGP formed a research team to start the research on wild training of captive pandas from ecology, behavior, veterinary, feeding management etc. and explored the techniques for panda wild training as well as the research on the captive individuals' adaptability in the wild. By the comparative studies on "Xiangxiang" and "Fufu", two individuals of a pair of twin pandas, "Xiangxiang" was put in wild training enclosure for wild training experiment since July 8th, 2003. On April 29, 2006, "Xiangxiang", the trained individual was formally reintroduced to the wild. Location tracking and monitoring were implemented and related research was conducted. Through this project, valuable first hand information was acquired.
On 3rd August 2010, good news came from the "Hetaoping" Wild Training Base in Wolong: giant panda Cao Cao smoothly delivered a male cub weighed 205g, who had become the first cub delivered in Wolong after the May 12th Earthquake in Wenchuan in 2008. Meanwhile, he was the first cub delivered in the wild training base globally. The birth of this cub not only marked a key step forward of the 2nd Phase of the Wolong Captive Panda Wild Training Project, but also gave great encouragement to Wolong people for reconstruction of their homes.
On 3rd September, the cub of Caocao, the world first cub born in a wild training base turned one month old! During the month, researchers had developed related research work in sequence as planned. They first let Caocao and her cub live in a relatively simple environment. Now the cub is in good condition and has grown from 205g at birth to 1235g. He is in good health and has strong vitality. According to the research plan, Caocao and her cub will be transferred to a relatively complicated semi-wild environment. Such process will be a completely new experience for Caocao and her cub and will be also a big challenge to them, which is a risk to the cub's survival, but an important and necessary step for the wild training of the cub. Within the semi-wild training enclosure, 3 nests have been built for Caocao and her cub at their choice. The nests have quite complicated semi-wild environment. Caocao, who has experience of living in the wild and experience of bringing up cubs, will gradually adapt to the environment with her cub. By observing, monitoring Caocao and her cub's behaviors and their adaptability to environment, researchers have made special feeding management and safety plans and will collect information and keep safety monitoring 24 hours, which will acquire valuable information for the Wolong Captive Panda Wild Training Project.
By now, Caocao and her cub have initially adapted to the semi-wild environment. Even in the recent rainy season, Caocao was able to take good care of her cub.
In order to let more panda fans to witness the growth of this special panda cub, Wolong CCRCGP has specially launched a worldwide activity for naming the first cub born in the wild training base and invites panda fans to vote on CCRCGP's official website to name Caocao's cub together. CCRCGP will reveal the final selected name on its official website and will give real-time follow-up reports on the cub's growth to let every share the joys of the growth of the panda cub.