March 8, 2007 / 4:41 AM / 13 years ago

Legless panda needs a hand to improve sex life

Niu Niu, a panda who lost its left limb, rests at a wild animal research center in Xi'an, northwest Shaanxi province March 7, 2007. An animal research centre in northern China has appealed to the world for help to fashion an artificial leg for a panda that lost a limb -- along with its sex life -- in a fight, local media reported on Thursday. Picture taken March 7, 2007. REUTERS/China Daily

BEIJING (Reuters) - An animal research center in northern China has appealed to the world for help to fashion an artificial leg for a panda that lost a limb — along with its sex life — in a fight, local media reported on Thursday.

In December, a resident of Dajiangou village in Shaanxi province stumbled upon a group of pandas fighting, the Beijing News said.

One seriously injured panda, a two- or three-year-old female that rescuers named “Niu Niu” (girl), was taken to an animal rescue center and saved, but lost two-thirds of its front left leg.

“Niu Niu’s spirits have lifted, the wound has healed and her appetite has basically recovered. But without her left paw, her loss of balance has directly affected her love life,” the paper said.

“The rescue centre’s staff suddenly had a bold idea. If they could give Niu Niu an artificial limb, not only would that solve her walking and foraging for food, it would also enable her to mate.”

Staff were appealing to the world’s experts for suggestions and hoped to receive a plan for a “meticulously scientific” fake limb as soon as possible, the paper said.

China goes to great lengths to protect the giant panda, which is regarded a national treasure and found only in nature reserves in the country’s Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi provinces.

Last July, Chinese vets and dentists were planning an operation to implant three false teeth in a panda injured after a fall in the wild in the same province, local media reported.

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