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US experts help promote zoo animal protection in Chengdu 2006-06-26 20:26:43

    CHENGDU, June 26 (Xinhua) -- The first workshop on the protection of zoo animals, presented by experts from the United States, opened here Monday.

    China has some 200 zoos and aquariums, which receive more than 100 million visitors every year. Zoo animal protection has attracted public attention after the famous bear-abuse in 2002, when a college student poured sulphuric acid on black bears at the Beijing Zoo.

    "We do need this kind of training to educate visitors," said Zhao Hui, a personnel with Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, "sometimes they harm animals with their good intentions, such as feeding the animals."

    Thirty-seven employees from 27 zoos in China joined the 20-day workshop, called Academy for Conservation Training (ACT).

    "The program is aimed at creating a community of zoo educators," Shelly Lakly, vice chair of Zoo Atlanta, said, "and we expect them to become professionals connecting public and animals as well as missionaries of zoo animal protection."

    "The situation looks better than I expected such as the physical environment and I can see Chengdu Zoo is open to learn," Joe Heimlich, an expert with the Institute for Learning Innovation, said.

    "We need to create more public awareness of zoo animal protection, such as not to throw a bottle to make them move," he added. Enditem

Editor: Mo Hong'e
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