From: Reuters
Published February 17, 2005 12:00 AM

Defecating Pandas Expand Their Horizons

BEIJING — A study of giant panda poo in China has proved the endangered animals are expanding their horizons, Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday.


The faeces were found in Fengxian county, in northwest China's Shaanxi province, where giant pandas hadn't been seen since before the 1970s, it said.


In December, a farmer told the Fengxian County Wildlife Management Station that he had spotted an animal that looked very much like a giant panda and had seen giant panda dung while collecting bamboo leaves on a local mountain.


"Experts with the Shaanxi Provincial Wildlife Management Station confirmed that the dung was left by an adult giant panda," Xinhua said.


"They ascribed the appearance of giant pandas in Fengxian county, located on the western section of Qinling Mountain, a major habitat for giant pandas, to the local government's strenuous efforts to restore and protect natural forest resources in the region over recent years."


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The number of pandas in the wild has soared by almost half to about 1,600 in just a few years thanks to enlarged habitats and improved ecosystems, Xinhua news agency said last month.


Chinese forestry officials said last year that pandas, notoriously fussy eaters and picky partners, were rebounding from the brink of extinction.


Source: Reuters


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