Here’s an awesome story about researchers in China wearing panda costumes to interact with young pandas, as they prep them for release into the wild.
By removing the “human” prescence, they hope the young pandas will have a better chance of surviving, by gaining acceptance from other wild pandas.
Ahh, the power of costumes! I sure hope this plan works. It’s sad to read about the young panda that got killed.
Chinese panda experts believe that the goofy-looking costumes may actually increase a panda cub’s chances of survival when it’s introduced into the wild. In 2006, according to The Washington Post, the research team introduced a captive-born male cub into the wild only to have it tragically rejected and killed by its free-roaming brethren.
This time around, researchers are doing everything in their power to ensure a successful introduction of the 4-month-old cub pictured above. That includes, of course, dressing up in panda costumes whenever they come in contact with the cute little guy. If the baby panda is taught to associate with only pandas, perhaps it will develop the social skills it needs to adapt to the wild.