The first panda born in captivity and released in the wild was found dead on February 19 in the forests of Sichuan province.
According to officials, the giant panda likely fell from a high place, perhaps a tree as it was being chased by other wild pandas.
“We are all sad about Xiang Xiang, but it doesn’t mean the project has failed,” said Zhang Hemin, the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center head. “The lessons we have learnt from what happened to Xiang Xiang will help us adapt and improve the project.”
The panda was released from Wolong in April 2006, surviving less than a year in the wild after three years of training and preparation where he learned to howl, bite, forage for food, build a den, and other survival essentials.
Unfortunately he didn’t seem to mix well with other wild pandas, and subsequently failed to survive amongst them.
“We chose Xiang Xiang because we thought that a strong male panda would have a better chance of surviving in the harsh natural environment,” Li was quoted as saying. “But the other male pandas clearly saw Xiang Xiang as a threat. Next time we will choose a female panda.”
Experts estimate that there are only about 1,600 wild pandas in the world, which all live in the mountain forests of central China, along with 180 other pandas living in captivity.
Xiang Xiang has been buried at the base of a mountain nearby the research center.
Photo courtesy LI WEI / CHINA FOTO PRESS / GAMMA
Pictured above is Smash, a Japanese-born French Poodle who won the annual World Dog Show in Mexico City. His owner is Mamoro Oyama of Japan
The poodle beat out some 5,000 competitors from around the globe, including 300 different dog breeds.
A male Bulldog came in second place, and third place went to a bulldog, while the third place went to a male Xoloitzcuintle, described as a hairless Mexican breed also known as Xolo. Both dogs have Mexican owners.
Owners spent hours grooming and preparing the dogs, and spent thousands of dollars investing in their lives to get them to this level.
“In the long run we might not recoup the investment, but if they are well-ranked in these competitions, the quality of the dog is certified and the price of its mating and offspring rises,” said Mr. Trejo, a Venezuelan engineer who raises dogs part time as a hobby.
The Labrador breed is said to have originally hailed from the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and was used primarily aboard fishing boats to gather fishermen’s nets by jumping overboard from their ships.
Today, Labradors are one of most popular, if not the most popular dog breed in the United States and the United Kingdom, and are commonly referred to simply as “labs”.
Labradors have gained in popularity due to their very friendly disposition, and their ability to get along with everyone from strangers to small children and all types of other pets. They are intelligent dogs that enjoy swimming, hunting, playing fetch, assisting the disabled, or just cuddling up with their owners.
This medium-sized, muscular breed comes in white black, yellow, chocolate, silver, blue, gray, charcoal, and “Dudley”, and features a straight, dense coat, and a thick tail.
Famous labs include “Buddy”, the chocolate Labrador owned by Bill Clinton and Koni, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Labrador Retriever.
Pictured above is a Yellow Labrador Retriever puppy.
This is Tubbs, an Olde English Bulldogge who resides in San Diego, California. He was rescued from a shelter north of San Diego after his previous owners couldn’t care for him.
He fits in great with his new family, and loves going on walks to the park, and especially the dog beach in Del Mar.
He’s a bit imposing with his big block head and thick body, but his biggest body part is his heart. He is a very sweet dog who gets along with dogs and humans alike (but not cats).
Tubbs loves all types of toys, especially tennis balls that he slobbers on until they disintegrate. You can play fetch with him, but good luck prying the toy out of his mouth…
Breed: Olde English Bulldogge
Weight: 70 lbs
Age: Six years
Loves: To swim
(photo: courtesy of his owner Catherine)
The Weimaraner, also known as the “Grey Ghost”, is a very old breed, dating back to the 1600’s where it appeared in Van Dyck paintings.
The breed is said to be a cross between different types of pointers and mastiffs, apparently overseen by Grand Duke Karl August of Weimar. Back then this breed was used primarily for hunting.
The appearance of these dogs is always a shade of gray, with a fairly large, muscular body type, and sleek, short coats. The head and muzzle of the dog is very dignified, and they exhibit very thoughtful expressions.
Weimaraners enjoy plenty of exercise, swimming, retrieving, hunting, and more.
US President Dwight D. Eisenhower owned a Weimaraner named Heidi, and this breed has been featured on TV shows such as “Saturday Night Live” and in music videos such as “Blue Monday” by New Order.
Weimaraners were also the focus of artist William Wegman, who featured the breed dressed in human clothing, exhibiting imaginative poses.
The picture above is Leo Carrillo State Beach, a dog-friendly beach located about 30 miles north of Santa Monica. Here leashed dogs are permitted almost everywhere aside from the space between towers 2 and 3.
Dogs are allowed on a maximum 6 foot leash, and must be accompanied by a capable handler. Do note that dogs are not permitted in the tide pools. Additional signage at the beach itself will provide more details.
This dog-friendly beach is one of only two in Los Angeles County, making it a bit of a gem for dog lovers in the Los Angeles area who wish to take Fido à la plage.
The exact location of the beach is 35000 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu, CA 90265. Call 805-986-8591 for more information or map it.
Above is a picture of one of the hotel guests at the Kennel1 in New Delhi, India. For about 250 Rupees a day ($6), dogs can enjoy air-conditioned rooms, top of the line cuisine, a crystal-clear pool, and a lounge.
“This is a place where your dog can come and live in style,” said Shailendra Uniyal, the hotel’s owner.
Pet owners may also make special demands for their pet, such as what they can eat, how their food should be prepared, what type of bed they should sleep on, and more. It’s truly the lap of luxury for these dogs.
Perhaps the cutest Chihuahua ever to be photographed? Floppy ears and beautiful markings make this little guy our favorite.
He goes by the name Bruce, and is pictured here with his big brother, a white lab. Despite their vast difference in size, these two are best friends. They’re able to play together and cuddle as well.
Bruce is a deer-head chihuahua with a slightly temperamental attitude, but a loving heart to those close to him.
ChinaDaily.com.cn released some amazing pictures of a baby giant panda bear born on September 22, 2006 courtesy of The Research and Conservation Center for Giant Panda.
The cub is referred to as “Giant panda cub no. 17” on the website, and a link on the site asks you to name the panda, though it’s not known if this is official or just a public opinion poll.
Either way, the picture of this little girl at three months old is amazing. They don’t stay small for long though.
Obviously I had to select my own dog for the inaugural edition of Pet of the Week…he’d never forgive me if I didn’t put him before the rest.
Anyways, Buddy is an Australian Shepherd which is a bit of a misnomer because the breed was actually developed in North America, though the shepherd part is accurate as they were originally bred to herd sheep.
He is a medium-sized dog with a tri-color coat, mostly made up of different shades of brown, black, and white, with nice freckling along his chin and nose. He also has his long curly tail intact, which is uncommon for his breed. (Tails are typically docked.)
Buddy is an easygoing dog that likes company, walks in his neighborhood, and plenty of lounging in front of the TV on the couch. He shows signs of herding from time to time when he circles around, and sometimes pushes other dogs in a circular motion which can be pretty amusing.
He is very friendly, if not a little cautious at times around strangers. He was diagnosed with hip dysphasia which is a condition that causes the ball joint to sit slightly outside the socket, but he manages to run and play regardless.