Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pandas! Pandas! Pandas!

The Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding is on the outskirts of Chengdu, about 1/2 hour taxi ride (65-75 RMB, $10-12 USD) from the center of town.  The park has numerous areas of bamboo groves and native panda habitat.  The website also includes a link to a 24-hour Panda cam.


I head out and spend 1/2 day wandering around, just looking and enjoying.

 Entrance to the park

 Park layout and pathway

 Wandering involves walking up and down hills between the various habitat areas for the pandas.  And, views of the pandas are my reward.

Giant pandas

After wandering through the habitats and watching the giant (black & white) pandas do what they do (mostly eat), I head over to the other side of the park where the red pandas live, looking like a cross between a panda and a fox. The red pandas share habitat with the giant pandas in Tibet, Yunnan Province of China, the north of India, Nepal, Myanmar, and the kingdom of Bhutan.

 Red pandas

Signs near the compound note that red pandas are very territorial and that we should not extend our hands into the compound if we wish to keep them.  A good thing to know, because, as I'm learning, pandas spend their day eating.  The giant pandas eat all parts of the bamboo, which has so little nutritional value that they have to eat a lot of it.  The red pandas are more picky, eating only the tender young leaves of the bamboo and supplementing that diet with fruit, nuts, lichens, birds, eggs, insects, and small rodents (and, apparently, the fingers of curious tourists).

At the entrance (and exit) of the park is a small lake with black swans and snack shops in case we get hungry watching all the pandas eat.  Even a panda breeding base must have beautiful spaces!



 Fish and swans

 But, now I leave this fantastic park and head back into the center of town for more adventures.

No comments:

Post a Comment