Xiang Xiang (“auspicious” in Chinese), the first giant panda released in the wild after being raised in captivity, has died. It is believed that the cuddly thing may have been trying to elude a band of wild pandas before his death. The AP reports:
The first panda to be released into bamboo forests after being bred in captivity has died, and a Chinese nature preserve official said Thursday it may have fallen from trees while being chased by wild pandas.
The body of Xiang Xiang was found Feb. 19 on snow-covered ground in the forests of Sichuan province in China’s southwest, the Xinhua News Agency said. He survived less than a year in the wild after nearly three years of training in survival techniques and defense tactics.
“Xiang Xiang died of serious internal injuries in the left side of his chest and stomach by falling from a high place,” Heng Yi, an official from the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in Sichuan, said in a telephone interview.
“The scratches and other minor injuries caused by other wild pandas were found on his body,” he said. “So Xiang Xiang may have fallen from trees when being chased by those pandas.”
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