Tourists film a rare wild giant panda in China

Video: Tourists in the Qinling mountains spotted the endangered species in a creek

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The Independent Online

A group of tourists were treated to the rare sight of a wild giant panda in a creek in China.

According to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, the giant panda is listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union, with only 1,600 left in the wild and over 300 living in zoos, such as Edinburgh Zoo.

The video shows the tourists coming across the giant panda in the Qinling mountains in the southern Shaanzi province of China. At first, because the panda was walking back and forth along the creek, there was some concern that the animal was either lost or ill.

However, a member of a local animal protection station confirmed that the panda was in good health after checking the creature over.

The animal was found in the Qinling Mountains, a natural habitat for the giant panda but one where it is rarely seen in public.

Last week, a giant panda born in captivity two years ago was released into the wild by a nature reserve in China. Xue Xue was the fourth artificially-bred giant panda to be released in China.

Edinburgh Zoo notably has two giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang. Tian Tian was recently believed to be pregnant. Keepers had announced in August that a series of “very new and complex” tests had shown Tian Tian to be pregnant. But hopes for a cub began to fade when she passed her due date, and in late September the zoo said the animal’s hormone levels had returned to normal.

A statement from the zoo said that there was no evidence Tian Tian had had a miscarriage, suggesting instead that the foetus could have suffered “late reabsorption”.