This was my idea and my husband was less than keen but since our return to the UK he has told everyone that this was one of the highlights of our China tour. We volunteered to work here and had the most amazing experience getting up close and personal with a number of Pandas. The whole place is so clean, well landscaped and peaceful. Don't think this is an easy day of watching pandas once we had been given our overalls and gloves and told the rules of the day we were set to work cleaning the panda enclosures, literally shoveling panda Pooh. We removed all the old bamboo and put in fresh and then were taken to clean the inside pens where they spend the night. We then swept the pathways and finally were introduced to the three pandas we had been cleaning for. We fed then panda cake (a solid block made from seeds, nuts, etc. with the nutrients they also need. Pandas are gentle creatures and eat like a human holding in their paws and taking bites, but don't be fooled they have long sharp claws and big teeth. We went to see the baby pandas but opted out of cuddling one for a photo as the cost was £150 !!! We then spent some time watching a pair of "toddlers" about 9 months old who were just adorable playing on swings and slides and in their tree house. We fed "our" pandas again with carrots and then went to have a lovely lunch with the keepers. The pandas park is closed to visitors for a couple of hours over lunch but as volunteers we were allowed to stay in and wander around watching all the pandas eating bamboo and sleeping, it was sublime. Our final task was to give more bamboo to "our" pandas and feed them apples and say goodbye. We went to return out overalls and were handed a certificate of thanks for the work we had done and a lovely magazine about the pandas. This was a wonderful experience and one that will stay with us forever, don't miss it.
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