Panda Finds Way Home to Reserve After China Quake

A captive adult giant panda that had disappeared during the May 12 earthquake has returned home, but two of the rare animals are still unaccounted for, China’s state media agency reported today.

Officials are optimistic about the survival of the two missing pandas, which live at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in central China.

The reserve is located 18 miles (29 kilometers) from the epicenter of the massive temblor that ripped through mountainous Sichuan Province. (See photos of the quake’s devastation.)

The panda’s homing instinct is not unusual, Marc Brody, president of the U.S.-China Environmental Fund (USCEF), told National Geographic News.

“There’s a history of captive pandas returning to the breeding center after escaping for one reason or another,” he said.

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