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Beijing Zoo is now the biggest zoo in China with over 450 species of land animals and over 500 species of marine animals, about 14,500 animals in total. It features pandas, elephants, gorillas, and dolphins and sharks, all in a scenic Chinese garden setting.
Beijing Zoo is a natural garden with dense groves of trees, stretches of grassland, a small stream, lotus pools and small hills dotted with pavilions and halls. It was called Wansheng Garden in the Qing Dynasty (literally it means the Garden of 10,000 animals).
The highlight of Beijing Zoo is for many the hall of the giant panda. As everyone knows, the giant panda is native to China and recognized as one of China’s national treasures and a national symbol.
In March 1955, Beijing Zoo began to exhibit pandas for the public to see. In 1978, artificial insemination was used to breed giant pandas for the first time in the world. In 1992, the artificial breeding method was successfully adopted to raise giant panda cubs.
Due to people's love for them and its endangered status, the giant pandas always receive "VIP" treatment wherever they go. People can tell where they are in the zoo by the unique appearance of their hall.
The Panda House is near the zoo’s gate. Just walk through the archway of the two-story building and you will find the entrance to the Panda House. It is composed of two parts: Asian Games Panda House and Olympic Games Panda House.
The Asian Games Panda House was built in 1990. The giant panda called Pan Pan was chosen as the mascot of the 11th Asian Games in Beijing. During the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, the giant panda called Jing Jing was chosen as one of the mascots of the 29th Olympic Games, which was hosted in Beijing, so Beijing Zoo built the Olympic Games Panda House. This is how these two panda houses got their names.
There is plenty of bamboo, the favorite food of the cute panda. The lush bushes and bamboo make the hall similar to giant pandas' wild habitat in central China, Chengdu, "hometown of pandas", but also famous for its culture and mountain scenery, is the most popular destination in China for in-depth panda tours.
Beijing Aquarium measures 35,000 square meters, located in the northeast of the zoo. Seen from afar, the a quari um looks like a gigantic ocean trumpet shell.
Going into this huge "trumpet shell" you find yourself really in close contact with the sea. The spacious hall is subdivided into several zones: the Hall of Tropical Rain Forest, the Hall of the Shark, the Ocean Theater and the Ocean Library and Reading Hall among others.
Here the visitors can touch the aquarium in which the dynamic ocean bottom is visible. Through close proximity to the varied sea life, visitors can feel as if they are at the bottom of the vast ocean.
In addition to seeing a replica of the natural conditions of the ocean life, visitors are also invited to enjoy the entertaining sea animal show. Those clever and cute sea animals, like the dolphins, make your trip hard to forget.
Beyond animals, you can have a chance to see some nearby historical sites:
Beijing Zoo is a popular destination for family tour in Beijing. Continue to read Beijing family tour plan for more top attractions and useful suggestions.