Captive-bred pandas don't know how to fight or defend themselves when they're released into the wild. But the wild is a dangerous place, and one re-introduced giant panda, Xiang Xiang, was recently found dead, probably the victim of attacks by other animals.
With China stepping up its efforts to repopulate giant pandas back into nature, they have a plan to solve this little quandary by giving the pandas combat training.
No, their teachers won't be Shaolin monks, but specially trained police dogs. According to Zhang Hemin of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, the hope is that the pandas will observe the dogs and thereby learn how to defend themselves and survive in the wild.
It's worth noting that while giant pandas are usually depicted as docile, quiet, bamboo-chomping critters, they have been known to behave violently in the wild, especially when provoked. So let's hope the dogs do the trick.
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