Chengdu Panda Base

If you are planning to visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, outside of Chengdu, it is best to arrive early so that you can watch the pandas feed. I woke perhaps too early, because at 6am Chengdu is still asleep. There are only stray cats and street sweepers; even the oppressive heat is still asleep. But I arrived at the facility in plenty of time to watch giant pandas and red pandas feeding and playing. Mostly feeding.

The giant panda is native to only a few mountain ranges in China, mostly in Sichuan province but also in Shananxi and Gansu provinces. There are less than 300 giant pandas in captivity, worldwide, nearly all of those in China, and another 1,500 to 3,000 in the wild. While at the Chengdu Panda Base, I learned that the sons of former president Theodore Roosevelt were the first Westerners to hunt and kill a giant panda.

Giant pandas; Chengdu, Sichuan province, China.

Giant panda; Chengdu, Sichuan province, China.

The obligatory peace sign while in Asia.

Giant panda incubator; Chengdu, Sichuan province, China.