A provincial forestry department research team confirmed following a field study that a three-year-old wild panda has been living in the Laojun Mountain Natural Reserve, a state-level reserve for rare partridge birds in Yibins Pingshan County, Li Cao, one of the researchers said on Wednesday.
The team found excrement, food traces, fur and paw prints of giant pandas in the week-long study starting on Dec. 10, Li said.
"Although we havent found its exact habitat spot, we are sure that it is still living in the reserve," he added.
According to Li, wild pandas lived on Laojun Mountain in ancient times until human activities forced them to retreat to western areas.
"The return of wild pandas has proved improvements to the ecology in the reserve have made it suitable for pandas once again," the researcher said.
The study was conducted after infrared cameras in the reserve captured photos and videos of the wild panda over the past three months.
Chen Benping, head of the reserves management bureau, said it will strengthen monitoring of panda activities and avoid disturbances from humans, leaving the giant pandas with a better living environment.
About 1,600 pandas are believed to live in the wild in China, mostly in Sichuan Province.