April 13, 2007 / 7:51 AM / 12 years ago

Apples, not anesthesia, at China's panda check ups

Giant pandas play on a tree at the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in China's Sichuan province in this March 6, 2007 file photo. Workers at China's biggest panda reserve are handing out fruits to pacify the animals before conducting health checks that in the past were done under full sedation, according to state television. REUTERS/China Daily

BEIJING (Reuters Life!) - An apple a day helps Chinese veterinarians keep panda rage away.

Workers at China’s biggest panda reserve in Wolong are handing out fruits to pacify the animals before conducting health checks that in the past were done under full sedation, according to state television.

The pandas generally don’t like being pricked and most medical procedures be an ordeal without sedatives.

Vets have in the past used anesthesia on the pandas, but putting the animals under can be risky, which is why researchers came up with the idea of distracting them with apples, the report said.

The method was introduced in 2005 and today, 95 percent of Wolong’s pandas receive their check-ups with the help of an apple or two.

China’s pandas are a source of national pride. Wolong is the nation’s largest reserve, and centre of its breeding program.

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below