Will the real Panda please stand up
The dressing up is just not for fun, say scientists, but an essential part of China's ambitious strategy to reintroduce captive-bred Giant Pandas back into the wild.
It is not yet clear if the Pandas are fooled by the disguises, but researchers at China's Wolong Panda reserve in Sichuan Province, say that captive-bred cubs must live devoid of all human contact if they are to have any chance of surviving life in the wild.
Although notoriously fussy when it comes to mating, China has in recent years made great strides in its captive-breeding panda program, and in 2010 attained the "magic 300" number of captive-bred animals, the target for starting to reintroduce them to the wild.
However, for all the successes, the giant panda remains seriously endangered, with less than 2,500 in the wild as their already shrunk natural habitat has shrunk by 50 per cent in the last 20 years as a result of China's pell-mell economic development.
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