Panda Bears!

We took a day trip outside Chengdu to visit the Dujiangyan Panda Base. It is about 1.5 hours by bus outside of Chengdu.

You have two choices:

1. You can walk up the big hills to explore some of the large enclaves where individual pandas live and eat (mostly eat)

2. You can gear up into sanitized suits to go feed a panda by hand.

You can guess our choice!

I never realized that I am not sure I have ever seen a panda bear in real life before.

And then, all of a sudden, the opportunity to meet and see at least a dozen appeared! There are actually less then 2,000 pandas living in the wild or captivity in the entire world.

Yes, pandas love to eat. That is all they do. They eat like 40 pounds a day as they only retain about 15% of the bamboo they chow down every day.

They are pretty much lazy to conserve energy. But the youngsters can sometimes be different like most kids around the world. Here was two young pandas that decided it was WWF wrestling time and wanted their show to go viral.

Pandas mostly like and eat bamboo, but when they get a chance to eat a Michelin star carrot dish, they cannot resist the opportunity!

Who can resist being hand fed by a famous chef from television? Just like in a modern kitchen, you have to be careful, sticking your hand into the cage is like sticking your hand in a hot gas stove. The panda may get confused and try the hand carrot as a potential dessert!

The hidden gem of this research base was the opportunity to catch a view of a few red pandas sneaking around in the trees. They are very shy and stealthy.  Interestingly, they are called pandas, but they are really more related to raccoons. It was still a fun way to see some rare wildlife without being in a classic zoo with all the restrictions.

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