Giant pandas are black and white creatures that look all soft and cuddly. While they truly are that way, there is no way you would want to approach one of them in the wild. You must remember they are wild animals and will react accordingly. Pandas are considered a vulnerable species because there are only approximately 1,864 of them living in the wild. Most of those pandas live in the mountainous regions of China. A trip to China can have you spending time with pandas for National Panda Day. But if you want to visit pandas a little closer to home, you have other options.
A quick online visit to The National Zoo’s website can have you watching pandas play, sleep, or eat at any time of the day. Simply click on the Giant Panda Cam and toggle between the two cameras to see where the pandas are hanging out.
Giant pandas arrived at The National Zoo back in 1972. The very first pandas were Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling. They had five panda cubs, although none of them survived. The next two pandas were loaned to The National Zoo back in 2000. Mei Xiang and Tian Tian arrived and over the years, they had four surviving cubs. Three of those cubs have been transported back to China, per the agreement between the country and the zoo. The fourth cub, who was born in 2020, is still at The National Zoo with his parents.
A couple of the six hundred giant pandas living at zoos around the world can be found at Zoo Atlanta. This zoo also has a panda camera, so you can keep track of your favorite animal whenever you have a little downtime. Two of the zoo’s popular pandas arrived back in 1999. Those pandas, Lun Lun and Yang Yang have had seven cubs together. Many of them have been returned to China.
One of the best things about visiting the pandas at Zoo Atlanta is you can actually spend time with them during an encounter. There will be a barrier between you and the panda, but you will be able to feed them their favorite snack.
The panda exhibit at the Memphis Zoo is three acres and it is where Ya Ya and Le Le have lived since 2003. Information about the pandas can be found at the pagoda, while a film is shown at the Welcoming Guest Hall.
If you don’t mind traveling to China, the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center is the best place to visit pandas for National Panda Day. Approximately fifty giant pandas live at this breeding center. The goal of the center is to let visitors see how pandas live in the wild, while they train the pandas to adapt to being out in the wild before being released. It is best to plan on spending at least half a day at this breeding and research base. While you will definitely see the pandas during your visit, you may be surprised to learn that you might have the opportunity to hold one as well.
These are all wonderful places to visit pandas for National Panda Day. I recommend arriving at the panda exhibit at each destination early in the day, because crowds form rather quickly. And when you do get to the exhibit, do not be disappointed if the pandas are either eating or sleeping. They seem to spend approximately ten hours a day doing each of those activities. Therefore, there isn’t a lot of time to climb trees and play.
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