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Chicken soup is good for the .... Pandas?


It appears that two pandas that left Wolong and set up home at Wuhan Zoo, didn't like all the comotion caused by the 10,000 visitors to the zoo during the nation's holiday and were given Chicken soup to help calm them down.

Three-year-old Xiwang and Weiwei were unsettled by the tens of thousands of visitors to Wuhan Zoo during last week's National holidays.

The pair, whose names mean "Hope" and "Greatness" in Chinese, began pacing restlessly around their enclosure, according to He Zhihua, their keeper.

"They had been getting less sleep," he said. "We felt it would be good to give them the soup because they were fatigued and had a bit of a shock."

Chicken soup is a traditionally medicinal food in China, and each panda was given a litre of homemade soup in addition to its regular diet of bamboo, milk and buns. "They loved it," said Mr He. "They drank it like they drank their milk."

Although pandas have a taste for bamboo, they are not averse to eating meat in the wild, occasionally devouring birds and insects. Another panda at the zoo, Dudu, was fed ground meat for the last decade of his life because his teeth became too weak to chew through bamboo.

Xiwang and Weiwei are refugees from the Wolong Panda Reserve in Sichuan, which was affected by the 7.9 magnitude earthquake that struck the province in May.

Mr He said the chicken broth may now become a regular supplement to their diet.

"Autumn is coming and we wanted them to have some more nutrition. It will be easier for them to pass the winter. We just wanted to see whether they liked the soup and whether it's good for their strength and whether they would have stomach problems," he said.