In the winter of 1984 our organization was invited by the Ministry of Forestry to visit the Wolong Wildlife Preserve in Sichuan Province, the People's Republic of China, in response to raising almost $90,000 to help save the endangered giant pandas. Our visit, similar to that of Gerald Warfield's "The Pandas of Wolong" (Sept. 4), enabled us to see the areas of research that were being done in this preserve.
The giant pandas were dying due to the regeneration of bamboo, which causes it to die. Therefore, our efforts were to help find methods to help save these special animals. Our efforts during the 1984 Summer Olympics, when two pandas were on loan to Los Angeles, were fruitful in helping to raise funds for these beautiful animals.
The World Wildlife Fund recently filed suit to stop the occasional exhibition of pandas in the United States. However, it fails to realize that short-term exhibits pose no harm physically to the pandas. In retrospect, there are many long-term benefits for the pandas. The visits bring an awareness to our society of the urgency of not only preserving the panda but also of the conservation of all animals.
Frankly, the counter-productive efforts of the World Wildlife Fund are appalling, particularly since it regards itself as a conservation organization. Our committee always has felt that any actions that will provide benefits and awareness and pose no harm to the animal are imperative in this situation with the giant pandas. They are great creatures on this earth and the threat of extinction is devastating.
TEH-HAN P. CHOW
and Former Deputy Chairman
Committee for the Preservation
of the Giant Panda