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I'm given some VIP access to the Panda Breeding Center in Chengdu and Joni and I head there for the day.
Joni stands in front of the Panda sculpture near the entrance.
The roads of the park are lined with bamboo "forests." Most of the natural forests in this area have been wiped clean, thus the reason pandas are endangered. Bamboo is the only natural food for the Panda. Although some bamboo is grown on-site, most is shipped in from outside of Chengdu. The Breeding Center's panda diets are supplemented with domestic fruits and vegetables.
In the incubation room with the newborn pandas.
When this worker tries to clean up the dry bamboo leaves, this young pandas keeps stealing his rake and playing with it. Cool job, huh?
This panda is on the move.
Adult panda, eats, shoots, leaves.
Joni, checking out the pandas from the observation area. Hey, want to get closer?
Joni couldn't take her eyes off the panda for this pic. She tries to move in for a kiss. We have to remind her this is a bear that could bite her face off.
The bamboo shoot is covered in honey.
Me and the panda.
We wear only gloves and slippers with this panda. In the room with the babies, it's surgical scrubs.
Pandas make noise and this one was "rawr"-ing as he comped away on the bamboo.
You will have to look up in the trees for pandas. They love climbing up for a nap.
Lazy, lazy pandas.
They are not nocturnal; just lazy.
Joni's Panda face.
The grounds are beautifully landscaped with wonderful gardens and a man-made pond, but the greenery suffers from a coat of grime from the air pollution.
About time! I have been patiently awaiting these photos, and did not disappoint! Awesome photos! How many newborns were were in the nursery? I love their facial expressions.
There's a nice pond on one side of the panda breeding center, called "Swan Lake." It has a nice restaurant and this lovely waterfront sitting area.
Joni wants to feed the goldfish.
This is what if feels like pretty much everywhere in china. Too many fish.
I finally nab a clean shot of these super-quick butterflies.
This spider was 5 inches long, I swear.
Oh no, he sees us! Ruuuun!
I decided I could sell some panda pics/ note cards
I think I should probably make those watermarks more intrusive.
This is what the breeding center layout is like.