China will release another giant panda, bred in captivity, into the wild this Thursday. Hua Jiao, a two year old female, will be the fifth panda to be released. She is the younger sister of Tao Tao, a male panda that was released in 2012.
Hua Jiao has gone through extensive wilderness training. The wilderness training reserve where Hua Jiao currently resides is located in the Tiantai Mountain. She will be released into the Liziping Nature Reserve, the same place her brother was released.
The China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) began releasing captive born pandas in to the wild in 2006. The first was a five year old male panda, Xiang Xiang, who survived only a year after release. Since then three more pandas have been released from 2012 to 2014. Of the three, two of the pandas including Hua Jiao’s brother are alive and doing well. The pandas are monitored after release with the help of GPS collars and radio positioning tools.
Giant pandas remain one of the world’s most endangered species, with less than 2,000 pandas living in the wild. In 2013, 375 pandas were existing in captivity, 200 of those at the CCRCGP. By releasing these pandas, the hope remains that one day they may no longer be on the endangered list.
Things to know before you travel to China:
- Cash is king. While most of large restaurants and hotels except credit cards, many businesses require payment in cash.
- Currency exchange is a must. China only recognizes its own currency, the yuan.
- Don’t tip in China. While most Americans would think it rude not to leave a tip, the Chinese don’t tip and aren’t expecting you to either.
- The tap water is not drinkable. Bottled water should be readily available for purchase.
- Bring toilet paper with you. While out and about many bathroom facilities in China will not provide toilet paper, so it’s best to be prepared.
- Utilize public transportation. China’s G-trains are affordable and fast.
- Real Chinese food isn’t what you will find in restaurants across the U.S. Don’t go looking for sweet and sour chicken and egg rolls, typical Chinese dishes are more simplistic.
- Expect to have less personal space. Chinese cities are often crowded and it isn’t uncommon to be shoved or jostled around.
- Explore beyond the big city. China has a lot to offer, including some natural beauties, like the Karakul Lake.