CHINA – When it comes to exploring the wonders of wildlife, few can compare to the beloved giant pandas of China. Among the most cherished species on the planet, pandas capture hearts with their adorable appearance and endearing antics.
Among the various panda conservation facilities in China, the Dujiangyan Panda Base stands out as a notable conservation center offering a unique and immersive encounter with these gentle giants.
In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of Dujiangyan Panda Base, its mission, significance, and the enchanting experiences it offers to visitors from around the world.
Understanding the Giant Pandas
Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) are undoubtedly among the most captivating creatures on the planet. Known for their distinctive black and white fur, these peaceful animals originate from the bamboo forests in central China.
Famous for their bamboo-based diet, bamboo makes up nearly 99% of their food, and this unique foraging habit plays a crucial role in shaping their behavior and lifestyle.
A Brief Overview of Dujiangyan Panda Base
- Chinese Name: 都江堰熊猫基地 Dūjiāngyàn Xióngmāo Jīdì /doo-jyang-yen sshyong-maoww jee-dee/ “Dujiangyan Panda Base” or 熊猫乐园 Xióngmāo Lèyuán /sshyong-maoww ler-ywen/ “Panda Paradise”
- Area: 1.4 square kilometers (0.5 square miles)
- Number of Pandas: Approximately 20
The Dujiangyan Panda Base, nestled in the lush greenery of Sichuan Province, is a renowned research and conservation center dedicated to the protection of giant pandas.
Established through the collective efforts of local authorities and wildlife experts, this facility has become an essential player in safeguarding these endangered animal species.
Don’t miss our comprehensive guide on: Travel Experiences in Chengdu.
History and Significance of Dujiangyan Panda Base
The Dujiangyan Panda Base has a rich history dating back to its founding in the early 1990s. The foundation of this conservation center was laid to provide a protected living environment for giant pandas who had to relocate due to natural disasters and human activities.
Over the years, this facility has evolved into a prominent research and breeding center, making a substantial contribution to understanding and conserving pandas.
Following the “5.12” earthquake in 2008, the CCRCGP decided to construct a new facility for the protection of giant pandas. The Dujiangyan Panda Base was completed in 2013.
Conservation and Research Efforts at Dujiangyan
At the Dujiangyan Panda Base, the primary focus is on the conservation of giant pandas and their natural habitat. A dedicated team of researchers and conservationists conducts valuable studies on the behavior, biology, and ecology of these lovable creatures.
Through their efforts, critical information is gathered to support the survival and well-being of pandas in the wild.
Panda Volunteer Program
For animal enthusiasts and panda lovers, the opportunity to volunteer at the Dujiangyan Panda Base is a dream come true.
Panda volunteer programs offer a unique chance to get up close and personal with these gentle giants while actively participating in their care and conservation.
Duration: 1 to 2 days.
A Day in the Life of a Panda Volunteer
As a panda volunteer, each day brings a new adventure. From preparing meals for pandas and cleaning enclosures to assisting with health checks, volunteers play a vital role in the well-being of the pandas.
The bond formed with these magnificent creatures leaves an indelible mark in the hearts of all who participate.
Upon completing the program, participants receive a volunteer certificate from the training facility and a T-shirt.
Children’s Volunteer Program
The age limit for volunteers ranges from 10 to 70 years. While pandas may appear harmless, they are carnivores, and parents must ensure that their children do not have direct contact with pandas. The cost for children aged 12 and above is the same as for adults.
If your child is between 2 and 9 years old, you can still bring them along during the program. Your guidance will help take care of them. The cost for children in this age group is approximately $120 less per person compared to the adult rate.
If your child is under 2 years old and you are looking after them all day, there is no charge for the tour.
Panda Star – Tai Shan
Tai Shan was the first panda born at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., and he had many fans. Originally, he was supposed to be returned to China at the age of 2 in 2007.
However, his American fans were determined to keep him in the United States, and the Chinese government agreed to delay his return until 2009. In 2009, the extension was granted.
Yet, Tai Shan’s American supporters rallied once again to extend his stay. The Chinese government agreed to delay his move for another half year.
Finally, Tai Shan arrived in China in 2010 and was housed at the Bifengxia Panda Base. A live stream was set up to introduce Tai Shan’s life to his fans.
In 2014, Tai Shan moved to the Dujiangyan Panda Base. On July 10, 2017, the staff at Dujiangyan Panda Base celebrated Tai Shan’s 12th birthday.
Visiting Dujiangyan Panda Base
Located about an hour’s drive from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, Dujiangyan Panda Base is easily accessible. Visitors can take advantage of various transportation options, including buses, taxis, and organized tours.
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/iP7NoWiU6ovr2zgw9
Best Time to Visit Dujiangyan Panda Base
The best time to visit Dujiangyan Panda Base is during the spring and autumn when the weather is pleasant, and the pandas are most active. Avoiding peak tourist seasons allows for a more peaceful and enjoyable visit.
Learn more: Top Places to See Giant Pandas in China.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the panda volunteer programs suitable for all ages?
Yes, the programs are designed to accommodate participants of various age groups, allowing everyone to contribute to panda conservation.
Is it possible to touch or interact with the pandas in the volunteer program?
No, physical contact with the pandas is strictly prohibited to ensure the safety and health of both the animals and the volunteers.
What should I wear when visiting Dujiangyan Panda Base?
It is recommended to wear comfortable clothing and sturdy walking shoes, as some areas may involve walking on uneven terrain.
Are there any photography restrictions?
While photography is allowed, the use of flash and selfie sticks around the pandas is prohibited to avoid disturbing them.
Can I adopt a panda at Dujiangyan Panda Base?
Yes, the base offers a panda adoption program that allows individuals to contribute to panda conservation and receive updates on their adopted pandas.