position S035 19.100 E174 07.200

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Mon 29 Apr 2019 09:28

Friday 25th April.  Pandas Galore.
The Panda breeding centre is another major tourist destination. We were able to take a metro to Panda Avenue where shuttle buses take you the last couple of miles. The  centre is a park with large enclosures for either a group of younger bears or  solitory older ones. The Pandas are not shy and sit happily near the edges of their enclosures mostly eating but occasionally playing games on the log climbing frames.



This is what they do most of the time- munch bambo shoots using their stomachs as trays for discarded leaves.
The shoots look like ice cream cones and the Pandas pick them up in their fist from a large pile and give them a sniff, discarding any that aren't perfect. Usually they have one in each paw chomping alternate sides.

They have been breeding Pandas for reintroduction to the wild successfuly for some time but it seems that most of the reproduction is achieved with artifical insemination. Natural conception is  tough for Pandas- The females only come into season one or two days a year and if the fussy female lets the male anywhere near he is further disadvantaged with a small penis.  

The Panda outfit is remarkably consistent. I couldn't tell one set of markings from another so how the females can distinguish a handsome Panda is a mystery.

Sleeping is 2nd favourite activity after eating. We were warned to get to the site early as the Pandas tend to sleep after about 10am and then for most of the afternoon. We didn't notice the activity dropping off and we found the Pandas kept us amused for most of the day.

The bamboo doesnt grow locally so lorry loads of bamboo are brought in every day. The David Attenborough documentary that was shown on a loop in one of the breeding houses suggested that workers have to harvest bamboo from the forest and carry massive bundles on their backs out to the road.