Giant pandas are no longer an endangered species, Chinese authorities announced.

There are currently about 1800 giant pandas living in the wild, meaning that they have been reclassified as “vulnerable.”

This comes after China “carried out some major activities and measures to protect biodiversity and achieved remarkable results,” according to Cui Shuhong, head of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

It is immensely hard to get the species to breed both in the wild and in captivity.

Shuhong also noted that the positive news comes thanks to tightened law enforcement supervision and a major crackdown on illegal activities on nature reserves.

According to Chinese specialists, the country was able to save the precious animals by taking steps that allow pandas and humans to coexist.

In a recent interview, Becky Shu Chen, technical advisor at the Zoological Society of London, said most of the nature reserves are so massive that there are still populated human villages in them.

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She praised the Chinese government for educating villagers in agricultural activities that did not harm the panda’s natural habitat.

Chen said that the villagers “protected the home of pandas, which is one of the reasons that they are now downgraded to ‘vulnerable.’”

Pandas are seen as a national symbol to the Chinese people and have been protected since the implementation of the wildlife conservation law in 1958.

The country also engaged in “panda diplomacy” for many years, lending the sweet, puffy animals to zoos worldwide as gestures of friendship.

Interestingly, this is not the first time pandas have been reclassified.

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Back in 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature reclassified the species from “endangered” to “vulnerable” on the world’s list of species facing extinction.

China expressed its dissatisfaction at the time, stressing that pandas were still under threat and the conservation efforts were not doing a good enough job to be loosened yet.

Social media users in China were thrilled by the news, saying that this is a success for the whole country.

“With our country getting wealthier, we have money to put on environmental and animal protection, just like what the Western countries did,” one person wrote on Weibo.

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