Local name: Chengdu Panda Base
They’re so cute to look at, but these guys really need this breeding centre. The giant panda is one of the most endangered animals in the world. After many failed attempts, researchers have finally found a way to breed pandas. The entire process can be witnessed in the Chengdu research base, which has become world famous.
Their videos on social media are very popular, of course, because the pandas here are incredibly cute. Take this young panda that wants to play with the basket of leaves, for example.
But the cuddly giant panda is in trouble, and there has been ongoing research in China to find a way to help these animals. After many failed attempts, it seems researchers in a lab at Chengdu have finally found a way to avoid extinction for this animal. But their success so far has been only with captive animals.
After years of experimenting, scientists have solved the mystery of their breeding issues. One of the pandas’ biggest problems was that they are not that interested in breeding. Zoologists even tried to make panda porn to encourage the animals to get it on. They tried giving the males Viagra.
But this year the finally had success with artificial insemination, so millions of sperm samples have been frozen at minus 196 degrees Celsius. The name panda comes from the Nepalese word poonya, which means ‘bamboo-eater’.
You can see all sorts of fun things at this breeding centre, like this group of young pandas that are out for a play on the slide in the playground. Their keeper only has to show them how it’s done once, and off they go.
The total number of pandas in captivity is around 300, and there are approximately 1.600 alive in the wild, spread across about 40 reserves in China. Their numbers are still decreasing, mostly due to de-forestation.
You’ll learn a lot about pandas when you visit the research centre, and you’ll see lots of them, both young at old: eating, resting, playing. Especially the panda cubs are fun to see. Make sure you give yourself ample time at the research centre, and it’s a good idea to come early in the morning, when the pandas are let out of their sleeping dens and they are very playful.
More information: www.panda.org.cn