Pandas, pandas, pandas!!!

After visiting Hong Kong and Macau it was time to return to mainland China to see the Giant Panda Bears!  To return to mainland we opted to take a direct bus from Kowloon, Hong Kong to the Shenzhen airport.  It is super easy and fast, allowing you to clear Hong Kong and enter mainland China in one stop.  But this post is about pandas!

Adorable yearling panda, Chengdu
Adorable yearling panda, Chengdu

I see why the WWF opted to use the panda as its logo- they are soooo adorable!  We took a taxi from our hotel in Chengdu to the Chengdu Breeding, Research, and Rehabilitation Center.  There is also a tourist bus that goes, but the bus station was so far from our hotel that it made more sense just to take a taxi. We had read that it is best to arrive when the center first opens, to catch the morning feeding, but we got there a little late (around 9am).  The center is pretty large and spread out, so you can easily spend a couple hours there.  There are hundreds of pandas at the Chengdu Center!  We were so intrigued that we spent the morning and afternoon, staying about 5 hours.  The great part was that we were able to watch the afternoon feeding, when the panda bears took a break from their naps to munch down some bamboo.  The center has been very successful at breeding pandas in captivity, and there were plenty of little ones to ooh-and-ah over.  But the adults are just as cute as the young pandas!  You just wanna give them a big huge bear hug.  And you can get your photo with them- for a price!  1,000 yuan (US $150) for a photo with a baby, and 500 yuan for a photo with an adult.  That’s way too much, plus I didn’t think it was such a good idea to disturb the pandas from their naps, to get them to sit with a human for a few minutes and chomp on large quantities of sugar cane.  I thought the panda that stayed in the tree during the photo op and came down afterward to share in the sugar cane treat was the smartest.

You can help save these lovable laid-back creatures from extinction by adopting one for yourself or as a gift at the WWF Adoption Site (you just don’t get to take it home with you).

Question:  How long has the Giant Panda species been in existence?

  1. They were just recently discovered in the 20th century.
  2. They have roamed the earth for thousands of years with cavemen.
  3. They have been around for over 3 million years.
  4. There is no such thing as a Giant Panda.
  5. None of the above
Eh, what's up doc?
Eh, what's up doc?

Answer:  3. Over 3 million years!!!  They were around with the mammoths and saber toothed tigers!!!  It is our duty to ensure their survival!

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