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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pandaaahs! Un-bear-ably cute cubs snuggle up in their nursery

By Daily Mail Reporter

I'm awake! One of the Giant Panda cubs raises his head while his 11 siblings sleep soundly in their nursery at the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, south-west China

They are a picture of cute that would make anyone say 'aah'.

But these Giant Panda cubs, napping peacefully in their nursery, have a far more important role to play.

They have been born and raised in the research base of the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, China, which is attempting to preserve the notoriously sex-shy species.

Bed time: A keeper tucks the tiny cubs in as they take a nap

Their successful upbringing comes as China launches its once-a-decade census to determine how many of the endangered bears live in the wild.

The census - the fourth since it was first launched in the 1970s - is also expected to work out their living conditions, ages and any change in habitat.

According to the count a decade ago, there are 1,596 pandas left in the wild in China, with 1,206 of them living in Sichuan.

The Giant Panda Breeding Centre boasts the world's largest artificially bred population with 108.

In line for a prosperous future? It is hoped the cubs will help preserve the endangered species



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