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Pandering to pandas

China & Asia Travel Service’s new excursion offers guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with giant pandas through a volunteer stint at the Bifengxia Panda Reserve.

This activity offers a greater experience than visiting a zoo or a wildlife park as participants play a prominent role in caring for the endangered creatures. The Bifengxia Panda Reserve is located in the beautiful ecological paradise of Bifeng Gorge, 90 minutes drive south of Chengdu in Sichuan province. It is an important research institute that carries out essential work into the preservation of a species that numbers around 1,600 in the wild and about 160 in zoos worldwide.

Guests prepare food for the pandas, clean the enclosures and carry lots of bamboo – the animals eat for up to 16 hours a day and consume around 18 kg of bamboo leaves and stems! Guests may also get the opportunity to help staff with the collection of behavioral data. There will also be plenty of time to photograph the animals.