About those questions:
We’ve noticed a number of questions recently about our panda reintroduction project. As we discuss elsewhere, we’re working with the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to save wild giant pandas from extinction by learning how to move cubs successfully from captivity to nature. We believe that giant pandas may not survive in the wild unless reintroduction can add to their population.
Our science team is running this reintroduction project in a careful and professional manner. While in our control, the panda cubs are safe and well cared for. We try to prepare the cubs well and do everything we can to ensure that when they ultimately re-enter the wild, they will survive and thrive.
We’re working hard to discover the best way to prepare panda cubs for release and to study and support them in nature even after release. This is a difficult experiment that will take many years, but we’re confident we’ll be successful.
We are aware that some people might prefer to keep all pandas “safe” in zoos. Others think that pandas shouldn’t be kept in zoos at all. Some think we should just let nature “take its course”. We do not agree. Successful captive breeding has given the world pandas to enjoy in zoos. It also affords us a chance to ensure that pandas survive in the wild. Both aspects are important.
Due to the complex nature of our study, we do not comment in real time on its details or on the status of each panda. We cannot and will not release data until it is peer reviewed by other scientists. We do try to give updates whenever possible to keep our friends and supporters informed as to our progress.
Occasionally we become the target of slander, abuse and baseless criticism. It seems to be part of the world we live in. We’re trying to learn to ignore it.