Two giant pandas were released to the wild in a national nature reserve in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Thursday, according to the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Pandas.
The pandas, named Qinxin and Xiaohetao, were released into the Longxi-Hongkou National Nature Reserve, a habitat for wild pandas, in the county-level city of Dujiangyan at 10:55am, the center said Friday.
Qinxin, female, was born on June 16, 2016, and Xiaohetao, female, was born on July 30, 2016.
The two giant pandas have received systematic wild training and gained relatively strong survival skills for the wild. The release is key in boosting the wild population of the giant panda, according to the center.
After the release, researchers at the center and the reserve will track and monitor the pandas to collect relevant data and learn how they will adapt to the new environment in the wild and integrate into the wild giant panda population.
By the end of 2017, China had trained 25 captive-bred giant pandas to adapt to the wild and released nine of them. Seven survived.
Giant pandas are endangered and live mainly in the mountains of northern Sichuan Province as well as Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.