Pandas are amazing animals and I have stood captivated just watching their every move. Sadly this was only at a zoo as seeing a panda in the wild is incredibly rare, although there are pandas living in a few mountain ranges in central China. If you also share a passion for pandas then check out our definitive list of the destinations in the world to see giant pandas;
1. Smithsonian National Zoo, Washington, USA – The baby giant panda Tai Shan is due to be moved to China in January 2010 although there are two other pandas to see; Tian Tian and Mei Xiang.
2. Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta, USA – Home to four pandas including the female Lun Lun and male Yang Yang and their offspring Mei Lan and Xi Lan.
3. Memphis Zoo, Memphis, USA – Has two pandas, Ya Ya and Le Le who live in the three acre space with other species that are native to China.
4. San Diego Zoo, San Diego, USA – The home of four giant pandas, female Bai Yun and male Gao Gao, who are the parents of several pandas including Su Lin and Zhen Zhen who are both still at the San Diego Zoo.
5. Chapultepec Zoo, Mexico City, Mexico – The zoo is famous for its three resident giant pandas, Xiu Hua, Shuan Shuan and Xin Xin.
You can support and preserve giant pandas through WWF, who have provided these panda facts;
a. Pandas need to spend up to 16 hours a day eating bamboo and eat as much as 38kg in one day.
b. A female panda has only 2-3 days a year when she’s able to become pregnant and pregnancy lasts for 3-5 months.
c. China has nearly 1,600 giant pandas in the wild, which is a desperately low figure.
6. Madrid Zoo and Aquarium, Madrid, Spain – one of only three places in Europe to see giant pandas is here where there are two female pandas, Hua Zui Ba and Bing Xing.
7. Zoo Berlin, Germany – Home to a male panda Bao Bao who was born in 1978.
8. Schönbrunn Zoo, Vienna, Austria – Resident panda Fu Long lives here after being born in August 2007 where his parents, Yang Yang and Long Hui had lived.
9. Adelaide Zoo, Adelaide, Australia – Adelaide Zoo has just welcomed its first giant pandas, Wang Wang and Funi, who are the only giant pandas to reside in the Southern Hemisphere.
10. Ocean Park, Hong Kong – Home to four giant pandas, Jia Jia, An An, Le Le and Ying Ying. Ocean Park lets a limited number of visitors become honorary panda keepers with a look behind the scenes.
11. Chiang Mai Zoo, Chiang Mai, Thailand – There are three pandas at the Chiang Mai Zoo, Chuang Chuang, Lin Hui & Lin Ping.
12. Adventure World, Shirahama, Japan – Home to twin pandas Meihin and Eihin and their father Eimei.
13. Kobe Oji Zoo, Kobe, Japan – See Tan Tan and Ko Ko, a male and female at the second zoo in Japan with giant pandas.
14. Beijing Zoo, Beijing, China – Home rather surprisingly to just one male panda, G uGu, who doesn’t like people straying into his enclosure!
15. Taipei Zoo, Taipei, Taiwan – There are two giant pandas, Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, a male and female pair.
16. Chengdu Panda Research Base, Chengdu, China – The Panda Research Base in Chengdu carries out valuable breeding research and focuses on conservation and education. There are around 62 captive giant pandas living here as well as red pandas and other endangered animals, which can be visited on a China holiday.
17. Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China – Travel to Wolong to see more than 150 giant pandas in their natural habitat in an area of around 200,000 hectares. The reserve was built in 1963 and in 1980 the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda was established at Wolong with the assistance of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Chinese government. The breeding research projects carried out by the researchers have successfully produced around 66 panda cubs.