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Giant Panda Volunteer Programs

Note: Dujiangyan Panda Valley has reopened the volunteer program since March 24, 2015 and it’s the only panda base offering the volunteer program now. The program that allows visitors to take pictures holding a panda is still suspended in all panda bases (Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base, Bifengxia Giant Panda Base and Dujiangyan Panda Valley). The reopening date is TBA.

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.

Program Length

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!

Volunteer Activities

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)

Activities Changes

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.

Chinese Holidays

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.