Chengdu's Giant Pandas

The West first learned of the giant panda in1869, when a French missionary called Armand David received a skin from a hunter. The first westerner to see a living panda was a German... Show more

The West first learned of the giant panda in1869, when a French missionary called Armand David received a skin from a hunter. The first westerner to see a living panda was a German zoologist called Weigold, who purchased a cub in 1916. In the 100 years since, history has not been kind to the panda. In the 1920s Kermit and Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. became the first westerners to shoot a panda. In 1936, the first living panda was sent west, a cub named Su Lin which went to a Zoo in Chicago. In 1938, five were sent to London. Exposure to the West has not prevented the giant panda from joining the endangered species list - 240 live in captivity and an estimated 1600 in the wild, 80% of which confined to the hills of China's Sichuan province. Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan and in its northern suburbs there is a world renowned breeding and research center for giant pandas. Here you can get up close and personal to these notoriously shy global symbols of cuteness - I couldn't resist... Show less