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Keepers to use panda suits to rear cubs

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posted on Feb, 11 2012 @ 07:37 PM

KEEPERS could dress up as pandas if the Edinburgh Zoo bears produce cubs.

The disguise would be used to trick baby pandas into thinking the human carers are their mother.

And it’s hoped the move would allow the offspring of the Chinese visitors to be successfully reintroduced into the wild.

The panda’s head keeper, Alison Maclean, was shown the technique when she visited the Sichuan province of the country to watch baby pandas being released.

Chinese keepers don the suits to allow them to check on their young charges – and even feed them milk as they work to rebuild the wild panda populations.

Dressing up means the bears don’t become too used to humans and gives them a better chance of survival in the wild

Scots keepers hope Tian Tian and Yang Guang, who have both bred before, will produce twins during their 10-year Scottish visit, adding to the dwindling numbers in the wild.

Almost half of all pregnancies in the black and white animals results in twins but the mother is only able to care for one and in captivity the other is often reared by hand.

The panda suit plan is revealed in a TV documentary, narrated by Scots actor Davit Tennant, on Wednesday night.

Speaking on the programme, Maclean said: “If we were raising a baby there’s a lot of options open to us and the guys here for the pre-release training wear a panda suit so the panda baby never sees a human being. You don’t want them to get used to humans.


Image from the BBC documentary Wild about Pandas

I think Its great the Scotland is getting a couple of Panda's for their zoo and they hope to be the first zoo in the UK to ever rear captive Panda cubs. Even though the suits look kind of creepy I wish them luck , Panda's are so cute

edit on 11-2-2012 by PhoenixOD because: (no reason given)


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