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BEIJING – A highly social giant panda out for a stroll has surprised and delighted residents of a town in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan.
The panda was first spotted wandering among houses in Wenchuan county on Thursday, seemingly in search of food. She strolled beside a vegetable garden, trotted across a dirt road and climbed a tree, seemingly unfazed by the attention she drew from a large group of onlookers.
Researchers at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda confirmed that the panda was Zhenzhen, an 11-year-old female raised in captivity and recently released into the wild as part of a special breeding project.
After allowing her several hours to explore, researchers returned Zhenzhen to the Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base by mid-afternoon.