Science: Battling a Bamboo Crisis

A botanical quirk threatens the last pandas in the wild

Her name is Jia Jia, which means Homely Little One. As she munches on a bamboo shoot in her compound, her caretaker watches with fondness and concern. The three-year-old, 123-lb. female has only recently been taken from the wild, yet she seems to be adjusting well to captivity. Her keeper even has hopes that she will soon be able to produce young of her own. But, he insists, Jia Jia, a giant panda, is only a "guest." If all goes well, she and her brood will be set free.

Jia Jia's temporary home...

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