Captivity-born panda given special survival training for reintroduction to the wild

A few years ago, Chinese scientists attempted the first ever release of a captivity-born-and-raised panda into the wild. His name was Xiang Xiang. Unfortunately, being raised by humans left Xiang Xiang woefully unprepared for survival. A year after release, he died in a fight with wild pandas.

So for the second attempt with Tao Tao (who was born in captivity in 2010), conservationists knew they had to do something different. So throughout his childhood they’ve been putting Tao Tao through special survival training conducted by human caretakers in panda costumes. The training taught Tao Tao how to survive events like mud/rock flows, snow, and heavy rain. It also taught him to fear humans (the enemy) and recognize and interact with other pandas (potential friends).

Tao Tao has now been released into the wild in the second-ever such attempt. These attempts are part of the next stage in Chinese conservation efforts, which hope to improve wild panda populations.

via Chinese panda with special “survival training” has been released into the wild [Conservation].

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