Once known as the most treasured animal in the emperor’s garden of exotic animals in Chinas capital Xi’an, the giant panda is now classed as an endangered species due to habitat loss, low birthrate in the wild and in captivity. However there are many breeding centres across the world to tackle the extinction, Chengdu in the Sinchuan Province of China is one of them.
The research centre aims to maintain the population of the species through intensive studies, collating a census every decade and operating a breeding program for these now rare mammals. The pictures show a new batch being tucked-in and having a cheeky snooze, while closely observed on a daily basis to check their advancements.
The importance of these research centres cannot be overstated: This conservation is the future of the endangered species and the census in 2001 confirmed that a mere 1,596 pandas are left in the wild in China, of which 1,206 lived in Sichuan.