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Welcome dear readers!

It’s Thursday, and that means it’s time to pick another item from the bucket list.

Panda bears always look so cute and cuddly, don’t they? You just want to walk up to one and give it a big hug. Unfortunately, if the panda doesn’t happen to be in the mood for affection that day, it can apparently turn quite nasty.

BUT…at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, you can actually hold a baby giant panda! From what I could find on the ‘Net, baby pandas are quite curious about people and welcome the attention, so it’s all good. The facility focuses on wildlife conservation and panda breeding. Along with the giant panda, they are trying to save other endangered species, including the South China tiger, the red panda, and the golden monkey.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to cuddle one of these extraordinary, rare animals, if only for a photo op. For an animal lover like me, it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, well worth the reported $145 US per panda cuddle. Sign me up!

Fun Facts About Pandas
  • A panda’s pupils are slit-shaped like a cat’s to help them see better in the dark
  • Female pandas bark to say hello
  • Pandas are carnivores, but 99% of their diet is bamboo
  • Recent DNA  / serological studies have determined that the panda is more closely related to bears than to raccoons. The panda’s closest relative is the spectacled bear of South America.
  • Pandas are considered “living fossils” because many of the species they co-existed with are now extinct.
Click here to see the most ridiculously cute footage of baby panda bears.
And, ultimately, I want to be this guy.
How about you, dear readers? Ever held a panda? I wonder if they’re as soft as they look….
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6 Comments

  1. Chris

    Too cute! Though the baby in the last photo is rather ugly. Just sayin’. 🙂

    I especially like the video where they evidently think the reporter is a nice, juicy piece of bamboo.

    Reply
  2. Story Teller

    @ Chris – Are you crazy? That baby is adorable! Consider how the babies of our species look at that age.

    I love that video, too. It must have been such a neat experience.

    Reply
  3. angela

    I actually spent some time the Panda Research centre in Wulong China. I met a woman who’s husband worked for the U.N. and they were stationed there. He was off in Beijing for a few weeks, and she was in Chengdu shopping for the weekend (for supplies – there was NOTHING up in Wulong, and it took an overnight bus to get there from Chengdu!)

    Anyway, she was lonely, and invited me up. I spent time with her, the pandas and Sue Manka (a vet from the Calgary Zoo!) It was amazing! This area wasn’t (at the time) a touristed area. We hiked in the forest to the ranger stations, worked with pandas, feeding and cleaning.

    A great memory!

    Reply
  4. angela

    …oh, yeah….and panda fur is like bear fur. It’s kinda course. Not as soft as they look! But they are still one of the most beautiful animals in the world!

    F.Y.I. If you are caught killing a panda in China, it’s the death penalty! Good for panda conservation, but wow! What a sentence considering Col. Williams will only get 25 years!….but that’s a whole other blog!

    Reply
  5. Chris

    @ Story Teller – No argument about human babies. I have yet to see a newborn I consider cute. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Story Teller

    @ Angela – wow! That’s so amazing that you got to experience this. Can I have your life, please? 🙂

    I was afraid that panda cubs wouldn’t be quite as soft and fuzzy as they look…but you’re right, still beautiful! And I will cuddle one regardless.

    As far as the penalty, good for China! I am on the animal’s side on this case.

    Reply

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