Reintroduction Program – 2006

On April 29, 2006, Xiang Xiang was formally reintroduced to the wild. Location tracking and monitoring were implemented and related research was conducted.

Xiang release

Xiang Xiang was successful for almost one year; he built a den, was foraging for food, and making progress. Unfortunately, Xiang Xiang did not survive in the wild. Xiang Xiang was released in April of 2006 and was found dead in February of 2007.

Xiang Xiang was thought to have been badly beaten by another panda for territory, food or a mate. In a setback for China’s first effort to replenish the endangered species with animals reared in breeding reserves, a leading Chinese zoologist reported that Xiang Xiang had broken at least one small bone and had several other wounds.

Thoughts are that “Xiang Xiang may have fallen from a high place after being chased up a tree by a wild panda,” said Zhang Hemin, the administrative director of the Wolong Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda. It was the first step in a long-term program to boost the then 1600-strong wild population with captive-bred mammals. Through this project, valuable first-hand information was acquired.