Very excited today as we would be going to see the Pandas at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre.
Our driver arrived and our minivan looked like it ran on sheer willpower!
As we shuddered through traffic (the suspension was completely gone!) we read through some of the Lonely Planet China to get excited.
Arriving at the Panda Breeding Centre we were raring to go but the driver made us wait for 10 minutes outside but couldn’t explain why.
It soon became apparent that our driver was also our guide (we didn’t want one!) and was waiting on another couple to join us. They turned out to be quite nice and our combined gallows humour at the rubbish ‘guide’ we had to endure kept us going.
So onto the pandas.
First up was something that we never even expected… Red Panda enclosure!!! What are these things?
As it turns out their are two animals that share the name Panda. The Red Pandas were the first to get the name and only retrospectively received the moniker ‘Red’ after the Giant Pandas were discovered years later.
They look like a cross between a fox and a raccoon and unfortunately due to habitat loss and poaching there are classed as vulnerable (less than 10,000 in existence).
In the movie Kung Fu Panda, the Character Master Shifu was a red panda. Also in 2013 Red Pandas were voted ‘Animal of the Year’ at Dublin Zoo.
Even when they fight they are adorable
The enclosure they were kept in was open. So open that they just walked about the place!
These were so so cool that they almost overshadowed the main show…
Giant Pandas. So many pandas it was insane. Pandas in trees, eating bamboo, sleeping, fighting, smiling and hiding…
There are over 60 adult pandas located here, and birth numbers are around 100 a year so there was always a chance to see some..unlike that old KitKat ad 🙂
Again the enclosures were open planned (but not with the public as these are still bears!), and we were able to get pretty close (as the photos above testify to).
As we took photos of two large males we bumped into Anna, the girl we tried to meet to show us around. She had to look after some Australians so suggested we meet up later back in Chengdu.
While it was really a great experience seeing the pandas,it is extremely sad but the believed population worldwide is only around 2,000 which makes them an very Endangered Species, and is probably a good reason why they are the symbol of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Karen was quick to point out that there are two in Edinburgh Zoo and asked ‘how many Ireland had?’, knowing we didn’t have any 😦
We also went to the small museum and gift shop on the way out. There were also a colony of black-necked cranes in a lake, near the exit.
To see or hold Baby Pandas was ¥2000 each so we decided to take some extra photos of toy Pandas for free instead.
For more information about Panda Conservation efforts please visit: