Chengdu is another large Chinese city (roughly 15 million). We took the high speed train for about four hours at 240 km/hr southwest through the countryside to get here. I’ll talk about our walks through the city in my next post, because I want to focus on the primary reason we came: the Pandas. With family in Washington, DC, we had been to the National Zoo and seen their pair of Pandas… But nothing compares you for this experience!!!
We walked up a beautifully landscaped path through bamboo archways, and there they are !!! This is one of about five Panda Research Centers in China. While somewhere between 1000 and 2000 of these animals remain in the wild, the Chinese have set these sanctuaries up to maintain a successful breeding program. The goal is not to breed and set free… Rather, they are breeding and lending out to zoos around the world. The pair in DC came from this facility.
As I said, we’ve been to see our Pandas…our two Pandas. But this center has somewhere near 200 Pandas !!! You see adults, adolescents, and youngsters with their mothers:
And in case the Pandas weren’t enough, there was an extensive collection of Red Pandas as well:
By the way, for a certain donation, you can adopt a Panda. I’m not sure how much, but it’s a lot. These cuties eat up to 20% of their body weight in bamboo shoots EACH DAY!!! And there is no way these guys could make it in the wild because they’ve been spoiled rotten. For example, I asked what part of the bamboo they ate, and was told that Pandas are persnickety… Different ones eat different parts of the plant. And one liked his soaked in some kind of syrup!!! And they do it for them!!! But what the heck…These guys are a 98 on the cute scale.
Even a peacock can’t come close!!!