China reaches panda ‘target’ number

China says it has perfected the difficult task of getting giant pandas to reproduce in captivity, a step closer to reintroducing the bears into the wild.

Scientists at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center have reached their target of successfully raising 300 of the bears in captivity, which should lead to the first captive-bred panda being reintroduced into the wild within 15 years, the BBC reported Sunday.

There are probably no more than 3,000 pandas in the wild.

Researchers have attempted to breed captive pandas since the first such cub was born at the center in 1963, but many obstacles stood in the way of achieving a stable captive panda population.

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