One Giant Step Back for Pandas
Back in May we wrote about Xiang Xiang, ..."a 4 year old that "became the first panda born in a laboratory from an artificially inseminated mother, raised in captivity in China and released into nature to fend for himself."
At the time, a scientist said, ""has mastered the ability to adapt to living in a wild environment...can live without being taken care of... has become sensitive and alert to human beings.... He wants to have his own territory, and he has acquired a sense of self-defense."
The only captive-bred giant panda to be released into the wild has gone missing after being badly beaten by a rival for territory, food or a mate.
In a major setback for China's efforts to replenish the endangered species with animals reared in zoos, Xiang Xiang has broken at least one bone and could be in danger, a leading Chinese zoologist said.
"Xiang Xiang has been badly hurt in a competition with other pandas," said Zhang Hemin, the director of the Research and Conservation Centre for the Giant Panda. "We think he fell from a high place after being chased up a tree by a wild panda."