Morning at the Giant Panda Breeding and Research Centre by Mark Sukhija

12th July 2009

Panda and Cub model at the entrance to the Panda Research Centre

An early start this morning for the Chengdu Panda Research and Breeding Centre. Established in Chengdu to research into Panda breeding after many Pandas died of starvation in 1980's, the Research Centre has become an important research centre and popular destination for visitors to Chengdu.

The Research Centre is most famously home to the Giant Panda (sweeeeeeet!) but also to the Red Panda - so the best time to visit is the morning, preferably before 10am, as they goto sleep after feeding and when the temperature gets too much for them (over 24 degrees centigrade)

Two cubs fooling around
One our visit the adult pandas are visible, active and large but tend to be solitary animals. The star attractions were, without a shadow of a doubt, the cubs (sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!) who, unsurprisingly, attracted a large following. Three playful cub pandas in particular proved to be a special draw for the visitors as they grapled with each other, their environs and climbed trees only to be pulled down by other cubs.

Red Panda feeding on foliage
The centre is also home to several Red Pandas who tend, judging from the fights we saw, tend to be an aggresive bunch who aren't afraid to rip each others tails off. Seriously, there's a few around who are, well, tailless.

There's also a small museum dedicated to the Pandas which didn't take us too long to get around.

The Pandas, especially the cubs, are cute. But do get there early to make the most of the centre.

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Further reading

Chengdu - trip to the Wenshu Temple - Travelogue from our afternoon in the Wenshu Temple in Chengdu

Chengdu - three day stay in Chengdu - Travelogue from Chengdu, including the Wenshu Temple during our 18 day trip to China

Visit to Chongqing - Travelogue from our time in Chongqing during an 18 day trip to China

2008 eclipse in Nunavut, Canada - Information on and about the 2008 total solar eclipse section in Nunavut, Canada

2008 Solar Eclipse Path - Path information for the 2008 total solar eclipse, including an orthographic view

2008 Total Solar Eclipse - the post-mortem - Total Solar Eclipse in 2008 - post-mortem

2008 Total Solar Eclipse travel information - Travel ideas for the Total Solar Eclipse in 2008

Barnaul - Getting to and from Barnaul

Nadym - Getting to and from Nadym

Nizhnevartovsk - Getting to and from Nizhnevartovsk

About Mark Sukhija

Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook