From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

Stung by criticism of panda rental deals, which have enabled some U.S. zoos to rake in millions of dollars by
spending several hundred thousand dollars to borrow a giant panda from China, the American Association of Zoological
Parks and Aquariums adopted a comprehensive giant panda conservation action plan on April 23. Under the plan,
AAZPA will for the first time station a species survival coordinator in China, at cost of $100,000 a year, to make sure
money paid by U.S. zoos for panda and panda habitat protection is actually spent for the stated purpose. China is presently
receiving more than $1 million a year from AAZPA members in connection with panda rentals, but indications are that
much of the money is diverted, as was a considerable portion of the $2.5 million the World Wildlife Fund sent to China
for panda protection between 1961 and 1986. The budget for a WWF-funded panda breeding facility included building a
town-sized hydroelectric plant––and the breeding facility, for all the spending, had produced only one stillborn panda cub
as of 1990. Wildlife Conservation Society science director George Schaller, author of The Last Panda, praised the
AAZPA action as a step in the right direction. Meanwhile, concerned that money for pandas might stop coming if the last
thousand left in the wild and last 100 in captivity die without reproducing, China has over the past year announced the cre-
ation or expansion of 14 panda reserves, and the birth of 13 pandas in captivity, of whom 11 are still alive. Panda loans
continue: the San Diego Zoo has just agreed to pay China $1 million a year for each of the next three years to borrow a
breeding pair, and may renew the deal for up to 10 years.
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