CHENGDU, June 30, Xinhua - A wild panda found dead at a nature reserve in southwest China's Sichuan Province last Friday died of an intracranial hemorrhage after a fall about a week ago, an autopsy confirmed on Monday.
Staff at Wolong National Nature Reserve Administration said rainstorms, which have battered the area recently, possibly caused the panda to fall as it tried to go down a hill to a river.
Days of rainstorms had triggered a mudslide at the reserve.
The panda was found near a hydropower station by locals. It has been buried by staff.
He Xiao'an, a publicity official with the reserve, said since the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, mudslides have often hit the reserve during rainy seasons, damaging the ecological environment and threatening the survival of wild pandas.
Staff with the reserve will strengthen supervision to protect the animals from being affected by floods or mudslides.
About 1,600 giant pandas live in the wild, mostly in the mountains of Sichuan.
The Wolong National Nature Reserve, covering 200,000 hectares in Sichuan's Wenchuan County, was founded in 1963 as the "home of the giant panda".