On September 23, 2013, the Laojunshan National Nature Reserve Management Bureau received a report detailing the discovery of what was thought to be giant panda scat. Leaders from the town of Longhua and police officers from the Longhua Forest substation of the Pingshan Forest Public Security Bureau sent the report. Experts from the Sichuan Provincial Forestry Department preliminarily identified that the droppings were indeed from giant pandas.

On December 10, the Provincial Forestry Department sent 6 team members that were from the 4th National Giant Panda Census to survey in Laojunshan National Nature Reserve. They collected a substantial amount of giant panda scat, food traces, fur, and paw prints after a one-week survey. They also came across several indentations in the flora indicating that animals had rested there. An infrared camera captured both pictures and video of a single giant panda on November 12, 2013.

The 4th Giant Panda Census team thought that giant pandas might have migrated from a neighboring panda reserve.

The reason for the appearance of giant pandas in Laojunshan National Nature Reserve at this point is two-fold. First, there are suitable habitats and forested areas for them in this region. Secondly, the long-term efforts by the Laojunshan National Nature Reserve Management Bureau to strengthen protection, management, and preventing human interference improved the living environment. Global positioning systems (GPS), DNA testing, and other scientific measures will continue to be used in monitoring panda activities.