Giant Panda Volunteer Programs
- 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.
- Giant Panda Facts »
Panda Breeding Centers
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.
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.
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!
Tips for Visiting the 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.
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from $615 USD
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- Panda Discovery and Chengdu Highlights Tour
from $407 USD
- » More tours to see pandas