Photos: China Part 8 - Chengdu...The Giant Pandas
The Giant Panda
Chengdu is so much more than the giant pandas, yet they are the big attraction. They have a lot of personality and can entertain you for hours. The research centre is a huge park that has special names like Sunshine Nursery House and Moonlight Nursery House. We didn’t see the red pandas as they were pregnant and their enclosures were closed off. We actually learned a lot whilst being entertained by the Pandas, they are solitary animals (after seeing what a female did to a male she wasn’t interested in, it is a good thing) eat lots and lots of bamboo, sometimes up to 18 hours a day because their bodies only retain a very low percentage of the nutrients from the bamboo. They are not lazy; they need to conserve their energy for procreation and just surviving living in the mountains, they can die from hypothermia if they don’t get enough food. The research park has been very successful using artificial insemination. In the wild the female may seem interested but, as the male approaches her, she just might turn on him and bite him until he runs away. We also saw a film of the birth of a panda, they are the size of a mouse, hairless and pink all over; they are so tiny some mothers don’t even notice when they have given birth, we also saw a mother who, after giving birth for the first time, started to bat her new born cub around the floor not knowing what to do – the research center staff distracted her and saved the baby. We now understand how fragile their procreation and birth is out in the cold mountains, not only is the female very particular…. pity the male that displeases her…. but after giving birth she could lose the baby in the leaves it is so tiny, or as it is with many mothers in the wild, she doesn’t know what to do. The mothers do get much better with subsequent pregnancies and learn to be gentle, caring and nurturing. We have been talking about places we would go back to and definitely would go back to another or the same Panda Research Park.
They have a pseudo-thumb which helps them to hold the bamboo in their paws. This fellow seemed to have more energy than the others; they usually lean against a tree stump, rock, or wall, anything that will hold them up whilst eating their bamboo.
This fellow was very funny, he was watching us whilst eating then decided he had had enough and turned his back on all of us and you can imagine what he was thinking......no #*#* privacy!
They like to pile the bamboo on their bellies so they don’t have to get up for their next piece of bamboo.
This is the two fisted method, one on the go and one in hand
We watched this little guy for quite a while as there were other pandas around him, he never moved for the 15 minutes we were there.
The crowds were very excited when we saw this panda climbing the ladder, up, up...
Wait is that a piece of bamboo?
I can’t go another step, I need a nap!
The Moonlight Nursery House
These guys moved around quite a bit, this was a nice change from the older adults who were just eating. It was interesting to see how they interact with one another.
He looks a bit loopy
Me and my buddy!
How you doing?
He was a natural entertainer, just having a good time all by himself leaning against the wood, what a great photo opportunity.
This guy was out for the count, he had such a busy day eating.
………..The Giant Pandas of Chengdu