Wednesday, September 29, 2010
With an isolated communist China, the Chinese were forced into a crash industrialization in order to support themselves. This development of the country devastated the environment before and environmental awareness swept the world in the 1970s, China included. It was only then that China launched an effort to restore the bamboo forests and save the Panda. Unfortunately, so much land was destroyed that the remaining Pandas were taken into captivity. The last wild Panda spotting was in 1974. Foreign organizations, such as the World Wildlife Fund (which uses the Giant Panda as its symbol) offered to aid in saving the Panda, but the Chinese government refused any aid. In zoos and breeding centers across the country, attempts were made to breed the Panda, but with such an abysmal infant mortality rate, the program seemed doomed from the start. There were never enough Pandas born and survived to maintain a viable population. The last Panda died in the Chengdu Breeding Center in 2004.