You’ll work in the largest Panda base in China, where the focus is on protecting and building a safe environment in which to begin the possible reintroduction of Giant Pandas into the wild. It is located in the beautiful mountainous area of the Woolong Nature Reserve and near the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Leshan Giant Buddha.
WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION
Get up close and personal, with both baby pandas who weigh only 100 grams at birth and gradually develop to 60lbs in their second year of life to their far larger parents that weigh a massive 250-350 lbs. In the last 2 years the volunteer work at the panda base has contributed to the doubling of the panda population – which is an amazing achievement. The numbers are now such that the panda reserve can at last experiment with returning them to the wild.
Your duties may vary depending on what is required of you at the time, so flexibility is essential. During your placement your daily activities will include:
Cleaning of the Giant Panda enclosures, and the nursery.
Preparing the food and feeding the Giant Pandas. 99% of their diet is bamboo, however the balance usually consists of rice gruel, high fibre biscuits, carrots, apples and sweet potatoes.
You may also be asked to conduct some research into their habits and health, in order to expand the knowledge of how best to care for these highly endangered species.
If you’re interested in animal conservation, this represents a real opportunity to learn about the Giant Panda, something that is unique to China. A typical programme is as follows, but this will vary from week to week and season to season.
Pick up from Chengdu airport.
You will be collected from Chengdu airport by one of our English speaking co-ordinators who will transfer you to the city where you will stay for two nights.
After a morning’s rest, you can take a tour the city of Chengdu including local markets, parks and the famous ancient pedestrian street of Kuan-zhai Alley. Visit the Business quarter. Later, join us at the welcome dinner in one of the City’s restaurants.
Transfer to the Panda Reserve (3 hours by bus). Lunch at the Panda base.
Afternoon briefing and introduction to the work you will be doing.
Also registration (where you will be issued with your uniform, volunteer card etc).
Guided tour of the Panda base and meet the panda keepers whom you will be assisting.
Dinner at the hostel restaurant.
Wednesday – Friday:
For the next 3 days you will work as an assistant to the Panda Keeper. General duties will include cleaning, preparing food, chopping and carrying bamboo.
8:00 am transfer to Chengdu City/airport (arriving Chengdu airport at approximately 11.00 a.m) for your departure. Afternoon flights are recommended.
If your programme is for longer than one week, you can explore the local area or go further afield. Your next week working at the Panda Base will start on Monday and go through to Friday.
PROJECT START DATES:
Programmes start every Sunday, all year round.