Image: Pandas meet the public before going to Beijing
She Shou/ChinaFotoPress  /  Getty Images
Giant pandas eat bamboo at their enclosure on April 26, 2009 in Ya'an of Sichuan Province, China. Six giant pandas will be transported from Ya'an to Beijing next week to meet tourists during the National Day holidays in October.
updated 4/27/2009 11:47:12 AM ET 2009-04-27T15:47:12

China has moved the last batch of pandas still living in a world-famous preserve badly damaged in last year's devastating earthquake to a nearby facility, state television reported Sunday.

CCTV said in a news broadcast the six pandas were moved on Saturday from the Wolong Panda Breeding Center, near Sichuan's capital of Chengdu, to another breeding facility in the same province.

The pandas were shown playing in a wooden house and chewing on bamboo shoots after being transported in metal cages and released into a new enclosure in the Bifengxia Giant Panda Base in the town of Ya'an.

The Wolong preserve was nearly destroyed in the May 12 earthquake, which sent boulders the size of cars crashing onto it and killed at least one panda. The quake left 90,000 people dead or missing.

Most of the 63 pandas living there have since been relocated to zoos around the country. The Wolong preserve had been the heart of China's effort to use captive breeding and artificial insemination to save giant pandas, which are revered as an unofficial national mascot.

Earlier this month, state media said China will begin building a new panda breeding center in May to replace Wolong.

Only about 1,600 pandas live in the wild, mostly in Sichuan. An additional 180 have been bred in captivity, many of them at Wolong, and scores have been loaned or given to zoos abroad, with the revenues helping fund conservation programs.

More on  Pandas   |  Animal conservation

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