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In pictures: pandas in training

*Note: There are real pandas in these photos, not just people dressed as pandas…

KEEPERS AT A CHINESE wildlife conservation centre are preparing two giant pandas for return to the wild.

Cao Cao, a ten-year-old female, and her 21-month-old male cub Tao Tao are receiving wildlife training at the Wolong Nature Reserve. Employees at the centre say that the cub needs to learn about other animals which the pandas will encounter in the wild because so far, he has only known his mother.

Four female pandas were selected in 2010 for the training programme. The China Daily reports that the programme restarted in 2010 after a temporary suspension following the discovery of the body of the first panda to go through the training. Researchers said they believed the panda fell from a height while competing for space and food.

Zookeepers at Wolong have been donning panda costumes in an effort to limit the effects of the pandas’s interaction with humans.

In pictures: pandas in training
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    Tao Tao, a panda at the Wolong Nature Reserve, is lured into a cage by a disguised worker. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/PA)
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    Tao Tao and Cao Cao play at the Wolong Nature Reserve. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/PA)
  • Pandas

    10-year-old panda Cao Cao and her male cub Tao Tao (pictured) are undergoing training to return to the wild. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/PA)
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    Workers dressed as pandas carry Tao Tao. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/PA)
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    Male panda Tao Tao gives his cage another look over during his training to return to the wild. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/PA)
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    Tao Tao at the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/PA)

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