Freed Chinese panda dies in wild

Xiang Xiang, the first Chinese panda released into the wild after being bred in captivity has died, according to Chinese media. The five-year-old panda was found dead in February after what is believed to have been a fight -- over food or territory -- with wild pandas.

The delay in reporting Xiang Xiang’s death was because of the need for a full investigation, the Xinhua news agency quoted officials as saying.

The panda was released in April 2006 from the Wolong Giant Panda Research Centre, and his death is considered a setback for China’s efforts to increase the number of giant pandas in the wild. The animals are one of the world’s most endangered species.

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