"Giant Panda Research Breeding Base" Top 5 Page for this destination Pandas Tip by Willettsworld
Pandas, Chengdu: 64 reviews and 151 photos
This place is the highlight and probably main reason for coming to Chengdu. The world famous Giant Panda Research Breeding Base is located about 10km north of the city and holds nearly 50 giant and lesser red pandas. The research centre specifically looks at breeding as pandas don't seem to 'get it on' with fellow pandas very well. The centre has been created in order to imitate the panda’s natural habitat in order that they might have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding. The Centre cares also for other rare and endangered wild animals. The necessary facilities for giant pandas include a fodder room, sleeping quarters and a medical station. Additionally there is a Giant Panda Museum together with research laboratories and a training centre. A great number of plants and as many as ten thousand clumps of bamboo and bushes have been cultivated to provide for the giant pandas diet and habitat. The centre is planning to expand by another 500 acres from its existing area of 92 acres on which to simulate a natural environment in order to prepare the giant pandas bred at the centre for release into the wild.
I visited the centre as part of a tour. I arrived at the research centre at 8.10am and walked in through the main gate and into a large area full of bamboo plantations as pandas live on nothing but the stuff. Then I saw my first panda, fast asleep on a wooden walkway/climbing thing in a large woody enclosure. These guys are some pampered pandas as they spend 16 hours a day eating bamboo and then the rest of the day asleep - good life! I then moved on to another enclosure but another small panda was again asleep. Another enclosure featured 4 youngsters tucking into bamboo for breakfast (well they have it for elevenses', lunch, tea, dinner and supper as well!), plus playing with each other. These guys were beyond cute and the Chinese can't get enough of them as they spy them from far off and then come rushing over. You can pay Y400 to touch and have your photo taken with a 1 year old adult panda. It costs some Y1200 to hold a baby one. You can see more photos of them in my travelogues plus I've also included some video.
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