A rare all-white panda has been caught on camera at a nature reserve in southwest China, showing albinism exists among wild pandas in the region, state media reported.
The spotless, red-eyed animal was photographed while trekking through the forest mid-April in southwestern Sichuan province, said official news agency Xinhua on Saturday.
The panda is an albino between one to two years old, said Li Sheng, a researcher specialising in bears at Peking University, who was quoted in Xinhua’s report.
The Wolong National Nature Reserve — where the animal was spotted — told AFP it had no further details about the albino panda.
More than 80 percent of the world’s wild pandas live in Sichuan, with the rest in Shaanxi and Gansu province.
There were about 548 giant pandas in captivity globally as of November, reported Xinhua.
The number living in the wild has dwindled to fewer than 2,000, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Famed for its “panda diplomacy”, in which China dispatches the rare animals to other countries as a symbol of close relations, Beijing has invested in different programmes to protect its furry ambassadors in recent years.
In 2018, China announced plans to create a bastion for giant pandas three times the size of Yellowstone National Park to link up existing wild populations and encourage breeding of the notoriously slow-reproducing animal.
At least 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion) had been budgeted for the Giant Panda National Park in mountainous southwestern China state-run China Daily reported.
Pandas are currently listed as a vulnerable species, which means that while their survival is still threatened, conservation efforts have helped reduce their danger of extinction.
Russia and China blast US missile test
Russia and China warned Tuesday that a new US missile test had heightened military tensions and risked sparking an arms race, weeks after Washington ripped up a Cold War-era weapons pact with Moscow.
The US and Russia ditched the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty this month after accusing each other of violating the accord.
Washington said the agreement also tied its hands in dealing with other powers such as China.
The US Department of Defense announced on Monday it had tested a type of ground-launched missile that was banned under the 1987 INF agreement, which limited the use of nuclear and conventional medium-range weapons.
Leaked audio shows oil lobbyist bragging about success in criminalizing pipeline protests
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Derrick Morgan of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Trump’s latest attempt to smear Scaramucci dunked in mockery
At least one White House or campaign staffer apparently helped President Donald Trump attack his short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci -- and he was met with mockery.
The president tweeted out a supercut video late Monday of Scaramucci defending Trump before his recent public disavowal, and attacked his former staffer as a "dope" who's seeking fame.
Nobody ever heard of this dope until he met me. He only lasted 11 days! pic.twitter.com/RzX3zjXzga
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019