Panda-monium!!

Trip Start May 20, 2010
1
18
195
Trip End Sep 05, 2011


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Flag of China  , Sichuan,
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DOMINIQUE HERE

Day : 34
Temperature : 31 degrees
Weather : Overcast

WARNING - this entry contains dangerous levels of Cuteness!!! View at your own risk. We take no responsibility for the cost of any spontaneous flight bookings to Chengdu.

This is what we came to Chengdu to see and we were so excited to be here, but before I tell about our day let me briefly say something about the Giant Panda. Unfortunately, 80% of the Giant Panda's habitat has been destroyed over a period of 40 years due to humans clear-cutting their forest habitat between 1950 and 1990. There are now estimated to be only around 1,500 wild pandas left in the world and consequently the wild pandas are on the verge of extinction. Chengdu Panda Research Base was set up in 1987 with 6 pandas that were rescued from the wild and now it contains over 80 with a world class research centre. Unfortunately some of the pandas which were at the Wolong centre were transferred to Chengdu after the Sichuan earthquake disaster a couple of years ago. Chengdu is at a lower altitude than the pandas natural habitat in the mountains and consequently it is much hotter in the summer. Because of the this the pandas are brought inside in the afternoons into air-conditioned pens where they are given a hose down to cool them down. So, if you are going to visit the base it is essential that you come early in the morning for feeding time to see the pandas at their most active.

We arrived at about 8:30am at the base and were introduced to our guide. After donning some very attractive garments which looked like theatre gowns we were taken to the panda pens, given a couple of buckets and shovels and we scooped the poop, cleaning the pens for about 40 mins...and believe me, there was a lot of poop to scoop! We then went outside to an area between the panda's outdoor enclosure to feed the pandas some apples. This was done by skewering the apple onto a piece of bamboo and leaning over the enclosure where the pandas would stand up and take it directly of the bamboo. We were encouraged to make the pandas stretch and stand up for the apples as this is good excercise for them. We then had a tour of some other enclosures before stopping for lunch. In the afternoon we visited the baby pandas which were 8 months old. There were no pandas of a younger age because each year they are born around September. We then went back to our first enclosure where at this point the pandas had been brought back inside because of the heat. We watched them being hosed down and we fed them some panda cake which consists of rice, other grains, fruit and vitamins. These pandas are seriously pampered!!!  Anyway, this was followed by a lecture by an American lady residing and working at the base on Panda behaviour and conservation. We ended the day at about 4pm, exhausted but delightfully happy.

On return to the hostel we discovered that there were no train tickets available to Lhasa today, so we are booked on the 24th instead. We have two days to relax and unwind...and look after the kitten who we have named Lucky....more on that later!

Enjoy the panda photos
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

lou lou on

hi there dom

sounds like you are having a great time. worried about if you are eating well!! , lovin' the KFC bit!!

take care

Oscar on

Hey Kevin
Sorry i have not made a comment sooner, i have just got back from my tournament near Brighton call 'Sir Henry Cooper'. Youwill be pleased with me as i did a russish 77 in the first round but then i pulled it back with a 72, 74, 67!! I did not hit one driver throughout the event, i really need your help though Uncle... I don't get why i am not hitting the ball straight? I have a good posture, my grip is good, then all i am feeling is i am going inside the line with my chest and then feeling my chenst go through the ball frist. I think that my club is left behind though and that is causing the ball to hook or have a massive 'push lice'... This even happens with the irons. I am also starting to notice that i am taking deeper diviots with my irons too... what do you think that means??

Anyway, i am gutted that i amnot there with you and the Pandas, judging be the photos it looks like so much fun but a lot of hard work!
Let me know how you are and when a good time to call you onn skype is too... Please give Dom a big hug for me uncle.
Lots of love

Eileen on

This is an automated email : please do not reply

Eileen has left the country and is on her way to the Panda sanctuary

:o) ..... omg omg omg .. so jealous !!

Call em when you can .... want to hear all about it !! xx

yattonkey3 on

This looks like your best day so far - really envious. Great pictures as always. Dad

Martin on

Hi Dom & Kev,

Your sister is thinking of leaving the man of her dreams for some cute, cuddly, loveable bear... I bought her a Panda for Christmas.. didn't know she wanted a real one.. I'll see what's on ebay in the Black and white bear department.. or see if I can convince her to stay.. I think i'm a better option.. I eat less and don't go sleepy when it gets hot and certainly don't need any pooper scoopers.. LOL!

Come on England... !

Happy adventures

Love Martin X

Jodie on

Guys, those pandas are the most amazing thing i've ever seen!!! We are definitely going to have to do a china trip as some point now! Fabulous photos as well and i can see a Dom painting from one of them in the future!

xxx

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