Panda Videos
Wolong Nature Reserve
(click on thumbnail for full-size image)

Our visit to the Wolong Nature Reserve was definitely the highlight of the China tour. The reserve itself is a treacherous four hour bus ride from Chengdu, and is both the oldest and largest set aside by the Chinese government for panda preservation. Although there are still several hundred giant pandas estimated to be in the wild, they are nearly impossible to see. Instead, we spent quality time with the 50 or so pandas at the breeding center. They were kept in a mixture of traditional concrete cages and newer, larger natural enclosures. My favorite was watching the two groups of one year old pandas (4 boys in one, and 5 girls in the other) who were the product of a hugely successful breeding season the prior year. We even got to hold and have our pictures taken with one of the youngsters. Our zoo tour group arranged to adopt one of the baby pandas born this year. We named him "Sheng Sheng", taken from a Chinese idiom (suggested by my mother) which means to flourish continuously generation after generation and not go extinct. I certainly hope these delightful creatures will do so.

One of eleven one year old baby pandas

A favorite panda position, lying back and enjoying some bamboo

I'm full now

Young pandas are very playful and were often wrestling and tumbling together

Too cute for words!

Pandas love climbing trees, and often sleep high up in branches

When climbing around, pandas kind of ooze through bars and branches, clumsy and graceful at the same time

An upside-down panda, climbing down from a tree.

Mother panda with newborn (3-months old) young in her arms

The 3-month old twin we adopted. The twins are swapped every few days between hand-rearing and the mother.

A lesser panda, also protected by the reserve. They are actually not that closely related to the Giant Pandas.

The misty mountains of Wolong, prime panda habitat which is rapidly diminishing

Copyright 2001 - Ann Mei Chang