Pandas from quake-hit area flown to Beijing | world | Hindustan Times
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Pandas from quake-hit area flown to Beijing

world Updated: May 24, 2008 21:24 IST

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Eight giant pandas, one of the world's most endangered species, were on Saturday airlifted from Wolong in the earthquake-shattered Sichuan province in southwest China and shifted to the Beijing zoo.

The two-year-old pandas were taken in a China Southern Airlines Boeing 747 flight.

The panda base at Wolong was damaged by the 8 magnitude quake but none of the animals were injured, deputy head of China Giant Panda Protection and Research Centre was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

"The pandas have recovered from nervousness about the quake and are all in good condition (at the Wolong base)," he said.

Five staffers of the Wolong base, 30 km from the epicenter, were killed in the May 12 earthquake. Six pandas went missing but four of them returned since then.

Sixty pandas are being raised at the centre.

About 1,590 pandas are living in the wild in Sichuan and also in Shaanxi and Gansu provinces while 239 are in captivity.

The habitat of Pandas is shrinking with low birth rate and low survival rate of new born cubs threatening their survival.

China is building the world's largest panda breeding base in Sichuan as part of efforts to increase their population.