China Pandas Laugh All the Way to the Blood Bank
BEIJING China's endangered pandas, who grab world attention each time they give birth, are now going to have their own blood bank to help to keep their numbers up, state media said on Friday.
The China Giant Panda Protection and Research Centre in southwest Sichuan province will finish setting up the country's first giant panda blood bank this year.
"The centre will hold a general survey of the blood types of all the 81 pandas in the centre, collect and keep their blood so as to be better prepared for future protection and rescue of pandas in the wild," the newspaper said.
"Initial studies have found that pandas have different blood types. But researchers have not conducted in-depth studies and do not know a lot about the matter," centre deputy chief engineer Huang Yan was quoted as saying.
Pandas have boosted their numbers in the wild by almost half to about 1,600 in just a few years thanks to enlarged habitat and improved ecosystems, Xinhua news agency said last week.
Chinese forestry officials said last year that pandas, notoriously fussy eaters and picky partners, were rebounding from the brink of extinction but that they were not yet out of the woods.