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China to Move 100 Hungry Pandas to New Bamboo Supply

February 18, 1987|United Press International

BEIJING — About 100 giant pandas threatened with starvation in China's largest nature reserve will be taken 450 miles to a new mountain home where there is plenty of bamboo to eat, the official People's Daily newspaper said Tuesday.

The People's Daily said the pandas will be taken from the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan province to Shennongjia in Hubei province, about 450 miles to the east, where the climate is similar.

At least 62 of central China's estimated 1,000 wild giant pandas have died of starvation since a periodic blossoming of the animal's staple food, arrow bamboo, began about four years ago. The blossoming leaves the bamboo inedible for the reserve's estimated 100 giant pandas.

The plant blossoms every 60 years, and it takes at least 15 years for the bamboo seedlings to become edible for pandas, one of the world's rarest animals.

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