According to a report in National Geographic News , several British tourists, who survived the disaster, said that captive pandas at the Wolong National Nature Reserve, which is near the epicenter, began acting strangely in the minutes before the devastating earthquake that shook central China on May 12.
Several tourists told how the pandas stopped eating bamboo and became eerily agitated moments before the quake struck. Other tourists reported that when the pandas were pacing up down and walking around, the land started shaking and the animals ran to the edge of the reservation. The 86 captive adult pandas were unharmed by the disaster, and an unknown number of cubs were moved to a safer location in Shawan, a main town in Wolong.
Accounts abound of both domesticated and wild animals behaving oddly before major natural disasters. “Animals have extraordinary sensory perceptions that exceed those of humans,” according to Diana Reiss, a professor at Hunter College in New York who studies animal cognition. “It would be important for animals to use as many cues in the environment as possible to predict an impending disaster,” she added.