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Panda Facts and Panda Tour

Mia Explore the Best of China 2023-04-01

If we don't sleep well, we'll have "panda eyes", but if you want to see real panda eyes, you can only find them in China.

History of pandas

According to current fossil records, the first panda has a history of 8 million years, and the giant panda species (an ancient animal that was about half the size of today's giant panda) has lived on Earth for over 2 million years. 600,000 to 700,000 years ago, the subspecies of the giant panda Papillidae (also known as the giant panda) appeared, the same species as the current giant panda. Mammoths and saber-toothed tigers from the same period are extinct, while pandas continue to survive, so the panda is also known as a "living fossil".

Why breeding is so difficult?

Currently, there are 1596 wild giant pandas throughout the country and 161 in captivity.

Giant pandas only go into heat in the spring, and the time for female pandas to conceive is only a few days! The "manufacturing time" of the panda is generally only 36 hours. After this period, even if natural mating is completed, the panda cannot become pregnant. In addition to the short conception time, male pandas in captivity only represent 5% of the population, and female pandas are very demanding of male partners! Like humans, not just any male can be their mate.

In March 2020, in Foping, Shaanxi, a wild female panda stayed in a tree for 10 days and only drank a little rain every day, while a male panda obsessed with her stayed under the tree and didn't even go out to find food. In the end, he won the heart of this "beauty".

In the 1980s, researchers discovered that in the wild, female pandas climbed trees and barked, and several male pandas competed for their attention under the tree. The lucky male was the one who won the mating.


What are panda babies like?

Generally, there is only one baby per pregnancy, even if the mother gives birth to twins, she can only raise one of them.

My uncle worked on the geological team and saw with his own eyes that to raise one cub well, the mother panda threw the other newborn panda cub into a tree. The probability of captive giant pandas now having twins is over 50% through repeated artificial insemination. With the help of humans, they can raise them all.

At birth, babies are usually between 80 g to 200 g, inaudible and invisible.

Wild adult pandas weigh from 60 kg to 100 kg, and in captivity, they usually weigh from 80 kg to 130 kg.

baby pandas Our flurry friends – Giant Pandas


Why do pandas always eat?

Giant pandas mainly eat bamboo, with one panda consuming 20-30 kg of bamboo every day. They eat a lot but absorb little due to the poor digestibility of bamboo. A giant panda spends more than 12 hours a day busy eating, sometimes even up to 16 or 17 hours. But with a short intestine, food passes quickly through the digestive tract. To survive, they have to keep eating continuously. Of course, uninterrupted excretion is also a characteristic of theirs, sometimes even defecating while eating or walking, wherever they go, they go.

Although they look cute, pandas are aggressive, belonging to the carnivorous category, sometimes eating rats and other animals. If you see a panda in the forest, do not hug it.

Giant pandas not only like to eat bamboo but also like to drink water. When they drink too much water, their stomachs become so full that they cannot walk and lie on the ground dazed. This is called "drunk on water." In this case, they will wake up in a few hours.



How long do pandas live?

The lifespan of giant pandas in the wild is 18 to 20 years, but they can live over 30 years in captivity. The mascot of the 1990 Beijing Asian Games, "Panpan," died on September 13th at the age of 37, making him the world's oldest living panda.

Where can I see pandas?

Giant pandas mainly live in the mountainous forests of Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu at an altitude of 800-3000 meters in China.

The best place to observe pandas is at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center in Sichuan. It is open every day from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. From only 6 original giant pandas, they have bred 143 fetuses with 214 pandas, based only on sick and hungry giant pandas. There are currently 152 giant pandas (as of 2015), making it the largest artificial captive breeding population of giant pandas in the world. Here, you can see pandas of different ages. It is a must part for a sightseeing tour in Chengdu


Dujiangyan Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is 60km northwest from Chengdu city. Most of pandas here are undergo transitional training for release into the wild. Here you can participate in volunteering to care pandas. Check for one day panda keeping program

Bifengxia Panda Reserve in Yaan is an ecological sanctuary, 150km westwards of Chengdu. It has more than 80 pandas in captivity.

Wolong Panda Reserve - Located in Wolong, the Wolong Panda Reserve was built in the 1980s and is one of the most important panda reserves in China. You can see more than 60 pandas in captivity here, and there are more than 80 pandas in foreign countries for exchanges and research.

Zoos in different cities - in many cities, such as Beijing, Xi'an, Shanghai, and Chongqing, you can see pandas in zoos.


Can I volunteer to care for pandas?

The main bases for volunteering with giant pandas are: Wolong Reserve, Bifengxia Base, Dujiangyan Base, and Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base. All of these are located in Chengdu.

The entire day is scheduled for the panda work experience. Detail program may like this:

1.    9:00-10:00am, clean the enclosure to provide the pandas with a clean and comfortable living space.

2.    10:00-11:00am, visit the panda center.

3.    11:00-11:30am, prepare lunch and feed the pandas.

4.    11:30am-12:00pm, have lunch in the dining room.

5.    12:00-1:00pm, free time.

6.    1:00-1:50pm, watch a documentary film.

7.    2:00-2:30pm, clean the enclosure and feed the pandas.

Note: taking photos with the pandas is no longer allowed.

If you are interested, you can contact us, and we can offer you a trip to see "China's national treasure"


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