Beijing to bring in more pandas for Olympics

The city zoo is expanding its panda exhibit for the 2008 Olympics and will ship in up to 10 more for visitors to see during the August Games, an official said on Thursday. The zoo is expanding its facilities to accommodate the additional animals and is also building a Giant Panda Museum which will document efforts to save the endangered species, a zoo spokeswoman said. "The pandas will be on loan from the Wolong Giant Panda Centre, but the numbers to be brought in are still under negotiation,' she said. According to the Beijing Youth Daily, up to 10 more pandas would be brought in from Wolong, the world's most successful panda breeding centre located in southwest China's Sichuan province. The panda exhibition is the most popular attraction at the Beijing Zoo and currently houses seven of the animals. A record number of pandas have been bred in China in recent years, with 31 born and 25 surviving at breeding centers around the nation in the first 11 months of 2007, earlier press reports said. In 2006, 33 pandas were born, with most of the new births in both years occurring at the Wolong centre, where artificial breeding techniques are continually improving, the reports said.