For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with Giant Pandas. I know it’s a strange thing for a guy to have a slight obsession over but what some guys feel as they watch Manchester Rovers win the Supercup (or whatever), I feel when I hear the successful breeding efforts paying off and a species that should have died out years ago, is still around to fill my heart with love and fuzz…now where did I put my Prada clutch daaaahling?!
There is something just so endearing about a creature that has the size and ability to be king of the bamboo hills, yet has the manner and make-up of a real-life teddy bear. This species should have died out long before Mrs. Supertramp pushed out little ol’ me, and still, they continue to exist to do only three things – sleep, eat and occasionally reproduce (with the help of trained scientists, obviously!)
Now, imagine my excitement when I was informed that there is a place in their homeland of China, where you can get up-close to one of these awesome creatures and actually interact with them. Go ahead, imagine the excitement – you would only come close by imagining that annoying N64 Kid from a few years back, gurning on MDMA that was hand-delivered by Batman himself.
The biggest problem for me had always been that I lacked the push to fly from the UK, all the way to China in order to do this. Not to mention the prices of flights to and from my newly realized dream destination. Then I gained that push in the form of my travel-companion, who came to share my passion for all things Panda-related and I was in Australia at the time, so the flight times and costs were a sheer margin of what they would have been from Blighty.
And so began our six-week Chinese odyssey (which I have extensively written about throughout this blog), which, in turn, brought me closer to an experience that had remained etched at the top of my bucket list since I was a little girl!
While watching my video below, just watch the smile on my face the entire time that I’m in the Panda cub’s presence – you will be hard-pressed to find a person filled with as much perpetual joy as I was in those brief, but beyond incredible moments.
Featuring Elizabeth Gottwald from The Wandering Photographer
If you are interested in the cause, visit Panda.org.cn to see what you can do to help the continuation of this brilliant bear…or you can just watch the live Panda Cam, always good for a laugh!