I Want a Baby Panda

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Flag of China  , Sichuan,
Thursday, April 26, 2012

Well after a long bus ride we made it to Chengdu safely.

The main thing to see in Chengdu is the Giant Pandas at the research base only 20 kms out of the city.

Our tour left the hostel at 7.30 am in order to be there when the pandas are most active (the big ones seem to just eat and sleep). The park was almost deserted when we arrived.

We saw the red pandas first which look like a cross between a fox and a raccoon.

We then moved onto the Giant Pandas.

The Giant Pandas are endangered with less than 1,600 living in the wild. When they're born they weigh only 100 grams, less than one one thousandth of what the mother pandas weigh.

The first inclosure was a mother and 3 cubs, the cubs were mainly asleep except for the one poor cub in a real tree who couldn't get comfy on his branch (he's the one with his legs dangling in the photos).

The next enclosures had adults eating in them. They strip the outside of the bamboo off with there teeth then eat the green bamboo in the middle.

Because of the heat in Chengdu the pandas spend some of the day inside.

After a while we came to an enclosure which had a mother and two cubs in it. One of the other cubs was sleeping but the other cub was being very naughty. He kept running away from his mother and climbing trees or hiding under bushes and she kept having to look for him and then pick him up in her mouth and move him to where she considered to be safe.

After about 25 minutes of this the little cub climbed up the tree where his sibling was sleeping. This resulted in him being pushed out Of the tree and falling to the ground. He then sat there for a while until Mum picked him and and moved him to what definitely was the naughty corner, a concrete pad in front of the door to the inside part of the enclosure.

By the time we left the nursery section there were thousands of people around which was a bit of a shock.

We spent the rest of our time in Chengdu wandering around, we made in down to the Chairman Mao statue where for some reason a procession of police, army and ambulances went past with all the streets being blocked for traffic for them to pass.

We also went to the People's Park which was full of people dancing and singing, very unlike a New Zealand park! It was very entertaining!

Next stop is Xian, an overnight train trip, to see the terracotta warriors.
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