Thursday, 5 May 2016

Panda expert claims the international breeding programme has failed

Panda expert Dr Sarah Bexell has said the international breeding programme to save giant pandas has failed 

Sunday 17 April 2016

A panda expert has said the captive breeding programme designed to save pandas should be scrapped because it is "giving humanity false hope". 

Dr Sarah Bexell, director of conservation education at the Chengdu Research Base, admitted in a frank documentary that the international effort to save the monochrome bears has not delivered the expected results.

Starting in 1987 with six pandas they rescued from the wild, the programme has since produced 400 offspring bred in captivity. 

But only five have been introduced back into the world, of which only three have survived. 
In the BBC Horizon documentary "Should We Close Our Zoos?", Dr Bexell says: “We’ve learned a lot, filled volumes of journals and textbooks but we have not made significant headway in terms of conservation.

“So I guess right now we would almost have to say it has been quite a failure and even though many of these projects even were considered successful for short periods of time, they’ve lost ground.

“Should we continue them? Right now I’m feeling no because I’m really worried that it’s sending the wrong message to humanity. It’s giving humanity false hope.”

She blamed the world’s ever-increasing population and consumerism for the steady decline in panda numbers. 

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