04/05/2012 10:27 BST | Updated 04/05/2012 10:28 BST

Panda Suits Donned By Zoo Workers As They Transport Bears To New Location (PICTURES)

Chinese zoo workers donned panda suits as they transported a cub and his mother to a new location at the Wolong National Nature Reserve.

Panda cub Tao Tao and his mother Cao Cao were taken in crates to the spot for the third and final stage of their training before they are released into the wild.

The mother and son were coaxed out into the open with fresh bamboo shoots by the bear suit-clad researchers, China Daily reports.

wolong national nature panda

Tao Tao and Cao Cao venture out after their journey

The outfits are worn to ensure the bears are exposed to as little human interference as possible during the process.

The project to train captive pandas to live independently began in 2003 and sees the bears gradually introduced to other and animals they are likely to meet in the wild, including snow leopards.

A spokesman said: "Tao Tao only knows his mother. To let him know other animals, we will send other pandas to the area, as well as model snow leopards and snow leopards, which can produce the sound of the genuine snow leopard and leopard, so that he will be afraid of his natural enemies."

Pictures Of The Day: 4 May 2012