Panda takes excursion into town in southwestern China

Panda takes excursion into town in southwestern China
In this Thursday, May 31, 2018 photo, a giant panda wanders through a village in Wenchuan County in southwestern China's Sichuan province. A highly social giant panda out for a stroll has surprised and delighted residents of a town in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan. The panda was first spotted wandering among houses in Wenchuang County on Thursday, seemingly in search of food. (Chinatopix via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — A highly social giant panda out for a stroll has surprised and delighted residents of a town in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan.

The panda was first spotted wandering among houses in Wenchuan county on Thursday, seemingly in search of food. She strolled beside a vegetable garden, trotted across a dirt road and climbed a tree, seemingly unfazed by the attention she drew from a large group of onlookers.

Researchers at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda confirmed that the panda was Zhenzhen, an 11-year-old female raised in captivity and recently released into the wild as part of a special breeding project.

After allowing her several hours to explore, researchers returned Zhenzhen to the Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base by mid-afternoon.