While a dog is said to be man's best friend, it may soon turn a saviour of endangered giant pandas also, says an expert.
Zhang Hemin, chief of the reserve's administrative bureau at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in the Wolong Nature Reserve, has revealed the centre's plans introduce a specially trained police dog to live with four pandas.
The idea is to make pandas observe the dog and learn how to defend themselves, thereby increasing their chances of survival in forests.
Earlier this year, the first giant panda released into the wild, Xiang Xiang, was found dead. Experts believe that it might have been killed by other animals.
"That's why we have to give captive-bred pandas better survival training, especially in combat and defensive skills Although sad, Xiang Xiang's case is an experience, and will help us plan the phase II of the reintroduction better," the China Daily quoted the centre's senior vet Tang Chunxiang as saying.
Zhang says that the centre has now submitted a report on phase II of reintroducing pandas into the wild to the State Forestry Administration. The report is expected to get the nod in January or February.