Fourth giant panda dies from life threatening virus in China
A fourth giant panda has died from a life threatening virus in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, becoming the latest casualty in the past two months at a same rescue centre.
Beijing: A fourth giant panda has died from a life threatening virus in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, becoming the latest casualty in the past two months at a same rescue centre.
The panda, 6-year-old Feng Feng, died from heart failure after days of treatment, Shaanxi rescue, breeding and research centre for rare wild animals said in a statement, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Feng died of canine distemper virus (CDV) that affects a wide variety of animals including dogs, primates and large cats. Feng Feng was diagnosed on December 26 and fell into a coma on January 8.
Three giant panda in the centre have died from the virus since December. Another four have recovered and no more are infected.
CDV affects the gastrointestinal system, the respiratory tract and central nervous system. Infected animals usually exhibit symptoms that include coughing, diarrhoea, eye inflammation, fever, lethargy and vomiting.
Prior to the epidemic, the centre was home to 25 giant pandas. After the outbreak, the centre sent its healthy pandas to reserves elsewhere in the province.
Giant pandas are one of the world's most endangered species. About 1,600 of the animals live in the wild, mostly in the mountains of Sichuan, south west China, while more than 300 live in captivity.