What It's Like to Take Care of Panda's
Huang Shunjie might just have the best job in the world. The 24-year-old spends each day caring for 18 panda cubs at the Giant Panda Protection and Research Center outside China’s central city of Chengdu. He prepares their meals of bamboo and milk formula, checks on their growth and health, and carries these two-tone fluff-balls between their sleeping pens and the cooing of their public enclosure.
“The best part is that I can get very close to the baby pandas, which makes many people jealous,” he says. “I get to hug them all the time.”
Among the brood are two record-breaking recent additions. He-He and Mei-Mei — a brother and sister whose names translate as “harmony” and “happiness” respectively — celebrated their first birthdays on July 25 as the only twin pandas born from a wild father and captive mother. It’s a vital breakthrough that broadens the genetic pool and thus longterm sustainability for the bears, which were among the world’s most threatened animals until recently.
“Mei-Mei is very cute and clingy,” says Huang, a native of Sichuan province who graduated in construction engineering before finding work as a panda photographer and then zookeeper. “But her brother is very naughty. He is one of the wild kids and loves making trouble.”
There are, of course, downsides to any job. In Huang’s case, it’s the regular bites and scratches he receives from 45-55 pound bears still exploring their own strength — as well as the lingering pong of panda poo. But it’s a small price to pay to dote daily on these epitomes of roly-poly cuteness up close. Every shift is a succession of tumbling off toys, balancing on heads, or generally lolloping around like furry toddlers.
“I’m a full-time daddy for these fluffy baby pandas,” says Huang. “If I take some days off to go home, I feel empty inside. If I can’t hear them bleating, if I can’t see them, it feels like life is not real.”
For many years, giant pandas, which are native to China, were one of the world’s most endangered creatures as unbridled development decimated their natural habitats in bamboo forests. These famous vegetarians must eat 30 to 85 pounds of bamboo every day.
But population numbers have recovered in recent years thanks to intensive breeding programs using artificial insemination. In 2016, pandas were downgraded by the International Union for Conservation of Nature from “endangered” to the less acute “vulnerable” category. Today, there are 1,864 pandas in the wild up from only 1,114 in the 1970s, according to China’s State Forestry and Grassland Administration, two-thirds of which live across 67 dedicated nature reserves.
Swelling numbers have also allowed China to send more pandas overseas, earning Beijing soft power points. “Panda diplomacy” began in the 7th century when China’s Tang dynasty Empress Wu Zetian dispatched a pair of pandas to Emperor Tenmu of Japan. Today, over 50 pandas live in 18 different countries.
Most famously, Mao Zedong sent a pair of pandas — Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing — to the U.S. following Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972. More recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping presented his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin with two pandas for Moscow Zoo just last month. “When we talk about pandas, we always end up with a smile on our faces,” Putin said.
Panda diplomacy is typically a 10-year loan, costing the host nation some $1 million annually, with the proviso that any offspring remain the property of the People’s Republic. The loans often coincide with trade deals but, if bilateral relations deteriorate, don’t expect these ambassadors to stick around. In 2013, China threatened to reclaim pandas lent to Austria after Vienna welcomed the Dalai Lama.
The vicissitudes of geopolitics are of little concern to Huang, though. His greatest joy comes from the fact the pandas he cares for end up raising environmental awareness and bringing joy to millions of adults and children around the globe. “I’m really proud of that,” he says.
A giant Panda died after failing to boost his sexual drive
A popular giant panda has unexpectedly died in a Thailand zoo - forcing China to send experts to investigate.
Chuang Chuang had been at the Chiang Mai zoo since 2003, alongside his female companion.
Failing to show any sexual interest in Lin Hui, the zoo tried various methods to boost his sex drive, including putting him on a low-carb diet, and showing videos of mating pandas.
The panda bear was taken on a loan by the Chiang Mai zoo from China since 2003.
The bear, which was 19 year old, was widely popular in Thailand because of repeated efforts by the zoo to get him to mate with his female companion.
His unexplained death caused revolt on Chinese social media, with many users accusing Thailand of not caring enough for the animal.
Giant pandas usually live only for 25 to 30 years in captivity. They classified as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
As a way of strengthening diplomatic ties, China loans the animals to countries around the world
There's extensive reporting in China about the animals' lives overseas, and Chuang Chuang's early death has received widespread coverage in local media.
According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, an investigation will be carried out to establish the cause of death, and experts from the China Conservation and Research Centre will travel to Chiang Mai to work with their Thai counterparts.
Some social media users on China's Twitter-like platform Weibo were concerned, saying: "Thailand is not suitable for raising pandas", and "they don't treat animals as well as we think".
Others asked for the remaining female panda in Chiang Mai, Lin Hui, to be returned to China.
In China, a big panda cub died due to an accident during a game
In the Chinese center "Shenshupin" in the "Volun" natural reserve, the cub of a big panda Lulu suffocated from accidental strangulation. The incident is reported by Shine portal, citing the press service of the Chinese National Center for the Protection and Study of Pandas.
The tragedy occurred at about two in the morning, and employees were too late to save the poor panda. When the animal was discovered in the morning, it showed no signs of life. The center management noted that it was deeply saddened by this news and would do everything to prevent this from happening again in the future.
Earlier it was reported that the Hong Kong Zoo was closed to visitors due to quarantine, the pandas living in it mated for the first time in nine years.
Adorable pandas make a mess as the zoo keeper tries desperately to rake leaves
Bemorepanda loves pandas! These two mischievous but persistent panda cubs melted everyone's hearts. The cute, playful youngsters went viral by having fun interfering with the zoo keeper from sweeping fallen leaves. Mei, the caretaker of the Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base, was definitely struggling to do her job while the two cubs rolled and tumbled.
As soon as May tries to open the door to the aviary where the kids are, she already faces a problem.
She tosses the broomstick over the fence to distract the cubs from escaping through the door. But one of them decides to tear off the brush from the broomstick, which already looks quite funny and funny.
loves pandas! This adorable pandas roll and tumble around as playful and curious animals.
One of them discovers that it is possible to ride in a basket for leaves and does it without hesitation.
May tries to move the cubs away from the basket, but then they take the other with the tools she brought.
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At the closed zoo in Hong Kong due to coronavirus, pandas have begun to mate for the first time in 10 years
Giant pandas have begun to mate in Hong Kong's Ocean Park Zoo, which was deserted due to lack of visitors during quarantine, according to the zoo's website.
Two giant pandas, male Le Le and female Ying Ying, have been living in Ocean Park for 14 years. For the past ten years ministers have tried to coerce them into intercourse, but to no avail. And only now, when there were no more visitors, the instinct of reproduction woke up in animals.
The zoo is closed from the end of January. In March, as the employees note, the behavior of the pandas changed - the male began to look for the smells of the female and mark the territory.
Cute baby panda
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