China Odyssey


Giant Pandas at the Chongqing Zoo

giant panda

A visit to the giant pandas at the Chongqing Zoo was the highlight of our visit to the city. Built in 1955, the zoo covers 45 hectares and is home to more than 2000 animals representing more than 200 species. The giant panda house, covering almost two hectares, contains huge piles of bamboo on which the giant pandas feed almost constantly. Although they have the digestive systems of carnivores, the pandas may consume twenty to thirty pounds of bamboo in a day. The energy derived from their diet is very limited because of the speed at which the bamboo is digested. The pandas avoid excessive expenditures of energy so it is somewhat surprising to see them frolicking in the snow at Toronto Zoo.

giant panda  giant panda

The red panda, which is also known as the lesser panda or the red cat-bear, can also be seen at the Chongqing Zoo. It is not closely related to the giant panda.

red panda

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© Derrick Grose, 2014