With one experience with pandas under our belt at Chiang Mai (Thailand) we decided that we were ready for the real deal. This place in Chengdu is world renowned as the best breeding facility and rehabilitation center in the world for these delightful and ancient creatures.
Heading to the center early in the morning for our half-day tour we were on edge with excitement at what we might see. The highest numbers of captive pandas in the world are at the center and that meant for some happy times ahead. We left early in the morning because for 16 hours a day these animals are largely inactive trying to preserve their energy (some one was listening). They feed in the morning and then did nothing…
It is hard to describe the feelings you get when you see and hear how low their numbers are and how damaging humans have been. They are beautiful creatures and watching them was a truly electrifying experience. They ate, slept, rolled and crawled before our eyes.
Oh yeah and we saw these cute distant relatives as well. The red panda’s also have a breeding program at the research center and they too were very cute and much more active!