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Giant Panda

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OPINION
July 30, 2010
A foolish housekeeping mistake ended up costing the life of a beloved giant panda at the Jinan Zoo in China last week. Zoo staff were disinfecting an area that shared a ventilation system with the enclosure for Quan Quan , a 21-year-old panda that had given birth to seven cubs, earning her the title of "heroic mother." Toxic fumes from the cleaning job caused her lungs to collapse. Tragic accidents can befall animals in any setting — at a zoo, in a forest. But there is a special responsibility due to animals when humans hold them in captivity.
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NATIONAL
March 30, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel
They closely monitored her hormone levels, watched her behavior to make sure the time was right and set up a quiet night with a mate. But it didn't do the trick. So on Saturday, the Smithsonian's National Zoo performed an artificial insemination on giant panda Mei Xiang. There is only a short window of opportunity for a giant panda to breed, so scientists at the National Zoo have been trying to make the most of it. When putting Mei Xiang and male Tian Tian together overnight didn't result in breeding, the scientists decided to  inseminate Mei Xiang with sperm collected from Tian Tian.
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NATIONAL
September 23, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
A giant panda cub born days ago at the National Zoo in Washington died Sunday, as the zoo's frustration with breeding giant pandas continues. Zoo staff heard the cub's mother, Mei Xiang, make a “distress vocalization” and tried to resuscitate the cub using CPR, to no avail, officials said. The nameless cub - whose sex still wasn't known by zookeepers - weighed less than 100 grams and did not appear to have suffered any trauma or infection, the zoo said. It was a tough loss for zoo officials, some of whom were emotional at a Sunday news conference.
NEWS
December 27, 2012 | By Rosemary McClure
Shangri-La Hotels dig nature, especially pandas. That's one reason the company began planting bamboo trees this month in China's Sichuan province for a new giant panda center that will rescue ill or elderly wild pandas. Eventually hotel guests at Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu will be able to visit the center, scheduled to open in mid-2013, to learn more about the animals.   "We wanted to find an innovative way to contribute to saving giant pandas. Through planting bamboo, the panda's food source, we are proud to make a lasting, sustainable, high-impact contribution," said Patricia Gallardo, director of corporate social responsibility and sustainability for Shangri-La International Hotel Management.
NATIONAL
September 25, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
Should scarce conservation dollars be spent to keep the giant panda from going extinct, when that same money could be used to help many other species struggling to survive? Following the death of a baby panda at the National Zoo, simply raising the question was enough to spark outrage. "This is yet another ignorant question by the most destructive and arrogant species on the planet: humans," one commenter posted on a Los Angeles Times story that addressed the issue . "To ask the question 'do we need pandas' is indicative of just how disgusting and ignorant humans are, as if the 'we' in question is the only relevant point of view.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Bai Yun, the giant panda at the San Diego Zoo, is pregnant, zoo officials said Tuesday. The father is Gao Gao, also at the San Diego Zoo. Bai Yun, 16, has had three cubs at the zoo: Hua Mei in 1999, Mei Sheng in 2003 and Su Lin in 2005. Bai Yun has been taken off exhibit and is expected to give birth within weeks, officials said.
NEWS
November 30, 1999 | The Washington Post
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History announced Monday that the body of Hsing-Hsing, the National Zoo's beloved giant panda, will be preserved and go on display early next year. The museum, which was given the panda's skin and skeleton, will put him on display in its rotunda at first, then move him to a prominent place in a new Hall of Mammals that will open in 2003, a museum spokesman said.
NATIONAL
July 7, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The National Zoo won't be hearing oohs and aahs over a new panda cub this year. Zoo officials said that the giant panda Mei Xiang was not pregnant after all. Her hormone levels had soared after she was artificially inseminated, then dropped, signaling a cub could be born. But an ultrasound showed no fetus, and zoo officials determined she wasn't pregnant. False pregnancies are common in pandas, and Mei Xiang has had four. Her only cub, Tai Shan, turns 2 on Monday.
NEWS
April 15, 1985
Efforts to overcome a continuing shortage of arrow bamboo have failed so far to stem the threat to China's giant pandas, the New China News Agency reported Sunday. It quoted dispatches indicating that at least six pandas have died in Sichuan province in southwestern China since the beginning of this year and at least one in the Qinling mountains of Shaanxi province.
WORLD
July 28, 2010 | By Lily Kuo, Special to the Los Angeles Times
They sent army doctors, police and hand-selected veterinarians to rescue her, but after three hours at a hospital, nothing could save Quan Quan, the beloved giant panda at the Jinan Zoo in Shandong province. On Tuesday, six days after Quan Quan's death, officials said that poisonous gas had killed the 21-year-old panda, dubbed a "heroic mother" by state media for giving birth to seven cubs over the years. An autopsy revealed that Quan Quan, who was about 70 in panda years, died after inhaling carbon monoxide and chlorine from a former air raid shelter that was being disinfected.
NATIONAL
October 11, 2012 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON -- Washington, D.C.'s, baby giant panda died of lung and liver damage, the National Zoo said Thursday, citing the high mortality rate for cubs.  The lungs of the 6-day-old cub were "poorly developed and likely caused her to have insufficient oxygen," according to a necropsy. The mortality rate for pandas in their first year in captivity is estimated to be 26% for males and 20% for females, zoo officials said. PHOTOS: Rescued animals -- Boots, Feisty, Piper and more "We are working with our colleagues in China to answer questions about giant pandas that will ensure the best care in captivity and that will help bolster the species' numbers in the wild," the zoo said in a statement.
NATIONAL
September 25, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
Should scarce conservation dollars be spent to keep the giant panda from going extinct, when that same money could be used to help many other species struggling to survive? Following the death of a baby panda at the National Zoo, simply raising the question was enough to spark outrage. "This is yet another ignorant question by the most destructive and arrogant species on the planet: humans," one commenter posted on a Los Angeles Times story that addressed the issue . "To ask the question 'do we need pandas' is indicative of just how disgusting and ignorant humans are, as if the 'we' in question is the only relevant point of view.
NATIONAL
September 25, 2012 | By Danielle Ryan, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The giant panda cub that died over the weekend had liver irregularities and fluid in its abdomen, National Zoo officials said Monday, but it was unclear whether that contributed to its sudden demise. The zoo's chief veterinarian, Suzan Murray, said the cub's heart and lungs appeared normal based on preliminary findings of a necropsy - equivalent to a human autopsy. Test results are expected within a week to help identify the cause of death. Zookeepers referred to the cub as "she" during a news conference because it appeared to be female, but they won't know conclusively until lab tests are completed.
NATIONAL
September 24, 2012 | By Danielle Ryan
The findings of an investigation into the death of the National Zoo's giant panda cub are preliminary, but they show possible physical problems with the cub -- things that were "unusual" for an infant panda, officials said. Amid mourning at the Smithsonian zoo after the sudden death of the panda, veterinarian Suzan Murray spoke to reporters Monday about preliminary findings of a necropsy performed on the cub, which lived less than a week. The cub had liver irregularities and fluid in its abdomen, Murray said, adding that it was too early to determine whether the abnormalities had played a role in the cub's death.
NATIONAL
September 24, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
For many, the death of the National Zoo's newborn panda is a heartbreaking loss . But for others, the cub's demise could fuel a controversial debate: Is it a waste of time and money to try to save the giant panda, a fragile species already on the brink of extinction? The question might seem cruel, especially coming just hours after zoo employees discovered that their newest resident, a cub born to giant panda Mei Xiang, had died unexpectedly Sunday morning. But an Oct. 15 meeting at the internationally famed Linnean Society of London was already scheduled on the topic of panda conservation.
NATIONAL
September 23, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
A giant panda cub born days ago at the National Zoo in Washington died Sunday, as the zoo's frustration with breeding giant pandas continues. Zoo staff heard the cub's mother, Mei Xiang, make a “distress vocalization” and tried to resuscitate the cub using CPR, to no avail, officials said. The nameless cub - whose sex still wasn't known by zookeepers - weighed less than 100 grams and did not appear to have suffered any trauma or infection, the zoo said. It was a tough loss for zoo officials, some of whom were emotional at a Sunday news conference.
NEWS
April 22, 1990 | JANET SNYDER, REUTERS
The recent discovery of a way to speed up bamboo flowering, hailed as the salvation of the giant panda, was a waste of effort, according to a Chinese expert who says inbreeding could be the end of the endangered animals. Indian researchers announced in March that they had developed a revolutionary process to cause bamboo, the panda's only food source, to flower and produce seeds decades earlier than its normal life cycle.
NEWS
June 25, 1986 | From Reuters
Three poachers have been fined and received jail sentences ranging form six to 20 months for killing a rare giant panda, the China Legal News said today. The paper said the hunters in Sichuan province killed the giant panda "to reap colossal profits," but it did not give other details.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2012 | By Dean Kuipers
For philanthropist Charlie Annenberg Weingarten and his organization Explore.org , cute videos of baby sloths or kid goats on a trampoline do more than make us feel good. They can help save the planet. The website of the Santa Monica-based organization features a series of live webcams and short films about endangered animals, including polar bears, beluga whales and reef fish. It has just launched its newest webcam initiative, the panda-cam , as an effort to familiarize the world with these critically endangered creatures and inspire efforts to rebuild their destroyed habitat.
WORLD
December 7, 2011 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
If pandas weren't so darn cute, we wouldn't be up in the clouds at the edge of a mountain ravine slick with moss and mud, clinging for life to shoots of bamboo. And get this: There is almost zero chance that we'll actually see a panda. We keep our eyes on the ground, not just to keep from falling, but because the best we can hope for is to discover panda droppings (and even the chances of that aren't so hot). "To be honest, I've been working in these mountains for 20 years and I've never seen a panda in the wild," says Dai Bo, 43, a wildlife biologist with China's Forestry Ministry who's wearing a camouflage jacket and hiking boots and has a zoom-lens Canon around his neck, just in case.
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