22.05.16 – Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Chengdu, China
Some weeks it’s hard to find a highlight of the week for lack of inspiration. This week was the opposite. This week we saw the Terracotta Warriors in Xián, the Pandas in Chengdu and the incredible scenery of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. But nothing could eclipse the cuteness of the Pandas.
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is located just 10km north of the city. Here, Pandas are treated like royalty. If you visit, be sure to arrive early in the morning, no later than 10am. Feeding occurs between 8am and 10am and after that the pandas literally become sleeping giant blobs. Our first glimpse was watching Ying-Ying eating. An amazing sight. They just sit next to a pile of bamboo and tear it to shreds to reach the juice part of the plant. They are some of the coolest and cutest animals on the planet.
The pandas are grouped by age with enclosures for pregnant mothers and newborns, small cubs, sub-adults and adults. There is also two enclosures for red pandas. They are far more lively than the giant pandas. We were fortunate enough to see a few feeding, but we came across two young cubs at just the right moment to watch them playing. After a few minutes of essentially grappling and laying on each other they rolled over and started panting as if they’d run a marathon!