Bifengxia Panda Base is a giant panda breeding facility in Ya'an, Sichuan, China. Since opening in 2004, it has become home to several more giant pandas. This includes the U.S.-born Hua Mei and Mei Sheng, who were relocated there after the May 12, 2008 Sichuan earthquake severely damaged the panda breeding center at the Wolong National Nature Reserve. Both facilities are managed by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.
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Ecological wild animal zoo was built in 1999 in Bifeng Gorges. Former Chinese PM Zhu Rongji gave words to ecological protection in Bifeng Gorge "Ecology is our resource, our fortune and our lifeline", when he inspected Bifeng Gorge in 2001. For the safety and development of the captive giant panda, the State Forestry Administrative Bureau decided and invested 27.6 million RMB to build a new panda base, i.e. Ya'an Bifengxia Base of China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.
Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Base is located in Bifengxia Town, Ya'an City of south-west Sichuan Province. It's a giant panda's paradise with well captive raising, reproduction, rare wild animal rescuing and education facilities. Bifengxia base was opened in 2003 as the part of the world's largest Giant Panda Migration. It was the biggest artificial migration of captive-bred giant panda ever seen.
The new accomplished reserve base is located in altitude of 1100m to 1800m. In the base, there are over 20 spots, such as breeding, research centre and special kindergarten, hotel for panda. In there 6 kind of bamboo as panda's favorite food are supplied.
Now 16 pandas were moved to the Bifengxia base, sharing their life in luxurious villas with accompaniments of air-conditioners, toilets, and independent water supply system and sport areas. Bifengxia Panda Base is arguably the best place to see pandas in the natural scenery they inhabit. Extending to about 60 square kilometers, Bifengxia has been long famous for its forest coverage, waterfalls, river and breathtaking landscapes.
Now that it has been selected as China's latest giant panda protection base, Bifengxia has a new role to play in altering the destiny of the endangered species. Pandas will be returned to nature after they have been given relevant training in simulated wild environments. At up to 1,200 meters above sea level, Bifengxia is under the jurisdiction of Ya'an City. In the dense broadleaf forest with singing birds and murmuring streams stands a big gate with the image of a lovely giant panda carved on it, marking the entrance to Bifengxia Giant Panda Base. Walking through the gate and along the meandering mountain slope for a while, visitors can see several European-style cabins made of bricks and tiles. These are the pandas' homes.
More than 20 spots have been set aside for panda-related activities and scientific experiments. There are dedicated grazing grounds, "kindergartens" for young pandas and even a panda hospital and research institute. Several different varieties of bamboo have been planted in the base either by the water or on the slopes. The new home for giant pandas appears like a park with a natural environment. The 16 giant pandas in the base will be raised through an outdoor method so as to encourage them to develop abilities better fitted to the natural environment.
The base will lead the world in raising pandas in this way. Upon completion of the whole project, the base will have four functional areas for grazing, offices and living quarters. This new base is a branch of the China Giant Panda Research and Conservation Centre in Wolong. With vegetation coverage of 80 per cent, it is the world's largest giant panda eco-park. It is planned that in five to seven years, the base will have 40 giant pandas in total. World's Largest Giant Panda Park Opens The world's largest park for giant pandas has opened in southwest China's Sichuan Province with an initial group of 20 animals.
Located at Bifengxia Base of the China Giant Panda Research Center (CGPRC), Ya'an City, the park will cover an area of 400 hectares, of which 71.4 hectares has been completed. "The per capita living area of the 20 giant pandas is over 3.33hectares, enough for them to enjoy an active and comfortable life," said Tang Chunxiang, an official with the CGPRC. With an investment of 120 million RMB (14.46 million US dollars), the construction of the park began in April 2002. So far, 16 standard shelters and auxiliary facilities, such as the research center and the veterinary center, have been completed. "In an environment of high density, the possibility of disease spread among the pandas and in-breeding is greatly raised," said Zhang Guiquan, the deputy director of the CGPRC. "With the commodious space, the new base will help the giant pandas maintain their natural instincts and lifestyles and improve their survival and reproductive capacities. As a result, they will be better for research," said Zhang. Giant pandas are one of the most endangered species in the world.
About 1,000 giant pandas still live in the wild, mainly in the mountains around the Sichuan Basin. The number of captive giant pandas is about 140. Ya'an has exported 138 giant pandas to zoos or research institutions at home and abroad since 1949, accounting for 70 percent of the total from China.
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