Giant Panda Volunteer Programs
Only Bifengxia Giant Panda Base offers volunteer programs.
These programs give participants a unique experience of getting close contact with giant pandas. During the programs, participants not only learn about giant pandas, but also work with skilled panda keepers and researchers in taking care of the pandas. At the end of the program, each participant is issued a certificate which proves their volunteering at the base.
A volunteer program lasts 1 to 3 days. Activities can be flexible and the programs can be redesigned according to different group sizes, available time, participants' needs and interests and other factors. Contact us to sign up for a volunteer program!
- Name: The Chinese call it the ‘big bear-cat’ (大熊猫 da xiongmao /dah-sshyong-maow/).
- Size: 75 centimeters (2.5 foot) tall and 1.5 meters (5 foot) long
- Weight: Up to 150 kg (330 lb)
- Habitat: Central- Western and Southwest China.Mainly Sichuan. A few in Shaanxi and Gansu. See the map
- Diet: 99% bamboo. 13 kg (30 lb) or more a day.
- Life Span: Up to 30 years in captivity, but usually only 15 to 20 years in the wild
- Protection Status: Endangered. Estimates of giant panda numbers in the wild vary between 1,500 and 3,000.
Activities may include:
- A tour around the panda base
- Learning about giant pandas and how to perform panda behavior research
- Watching documentary films about giant pandas
- Cleaning and weighing fresh bamboo
- Feeding the pandas (usually through the cage bars, for safety reasons)
- Cleaning panda enclosures
- Collecting and weighing the pandas’ feces (one of the most effective ways of monitoring the pandas' health)
Because giant pandas have their own lifestyle and behavior, sometimes it is very hard for them to tolerate outside influence. It is best not to disturb their peaceful life for their health, and some of the activities might be changed or deleted.
The final activities are subject to the panda base's arrangements, according to the pandas' actual situation, which is beyond our control. Our suggestion for our customers is to be patient and cooperative.
Giant panda volunteer programs are not available during the Chinese New Year Holiday (generally falls in late January or early/mid February).
They are probably available during Labor Day (May 1) and Chinese National Day (October 1). However, you should contact us to confirm the information one month in advance.
Tips for Visiting Giant Pandas
It's important for the pandas to have a quiet environment.
- Please do not make noises or sudden movements that might startle the pandas.
- Please do not approach or throw food to the pandas, unless the panda keeper tells you to do so. Otherwise it might disturb the panda’s eating regime and cause them to become sick.
- Follow the panda keeper’s instructions. For your safety, do not get into the cage, touch the adult pandas or let them touch you, unless the panda keeper tells you to do so.
- Do not take photos or videos unless it’s allowed. Taking photos of the panda or holding a panda will incur extra costs, which are at the visitors' own expense.
Watch the video of Volunteer Program in Bifengxia Panda Base.
Top Giant Panda Tours
- Giant Pandas, Yangtze River and Golden Triangle Combo
- Visit the homeland of Giant Pandas in Chengdu, but also the famous Golden Triangle - Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an.
- Chengdu & Bifengxia Panda Breeding Center Experience
- Join a two-day Panda Volunteer Experience to care and interact with the pandas, and see the ancient Chengdu.
- Panda Keeper Program and Chengdu Highlights Tour
- Join an International Internship Program or Panda Keeper Program to have an opportunity to feed the pandas and then give then a cool bath.
Check-in, grouping, material hand out
Tour Panda Base to learn some knowledge about the Panda Base and giant pandas (Tour Panda Base will be interpreted by professional educators)
Perform keeper’s duties at different enclosures
Visit the Nursery and red pandas
Watch giant panda film screening
Lunch at your leisure
The following is the daily schedule of an adult panda. It is best to visit them during their meal times or play times. Early in the morning before 9 o’clock is a very suitable time, when pandas come out to eat.
· 12:00 am – 2:00 am rest
· 2:00 am – 7:40 am breakfast
· 7:40 am – 10:30 am morning break
· 10:30 am – 11:00 am play time
· 11:00 am – 12:00 am lunch
· 12:00 am – 2:30 pm noon break
· 2:30 pm – 9:00 pm supper
· 9:00 pm – 12:00 pm night sleep
It’s important for the pandas to have a quiet environment. Please see the following tips:
1. Please do not make noises or sudden movements that might startle the pandas.
2. Please do not approach or throw food to the pandas, unless the panda keeper tells you to do so. Otherwise it might disturb the panda’s eating regime and cause them to become sick.
3. Follow the panda keeper’s instructions. Please do not touch the adult pandas or let them touch you.
4. Do not take photos or videos unless it’s allowed. Taking a photo of the panda costs 500 yuan (73 USD), while holding a baby panda costs 1000 yuan (147 USD) at the panda base. These costs are at visitors’ own expense. Robert Hui Replied on 10:38 PM Sep. 25 2011