Another View to the Panda Keeper
Date: 2017-12-26

To be a panda keeper is what many people are dreaming of. “A panda keeper can stay with panda babies all the time, taking care of them and playing with them. Nothing could be more attractive than this.” One said. But, is that true? What can we see if we approach them?


As an example, when you watch a panda keeper nursing a panda baby by the side of an incubator, what pops into your mind? Envy? Jealous? I have to say, it is normal but not correct. Incubation period is the key to the survival of panda babies, the panda keeper have to work in three shifts from 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. of the next morning, from 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., and from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. The day shift continues from the 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It’s really a massive challenge and exhausting time for them. They have to stay in the nursery with pandas instead of their family. Sometimes, they even have no time for rest or food. At that time, panda keepers have to bear the great pressure, both physically and mentally; for many new hands, their passion vanishes soon before they leave. Not having got enough keepers, the whole work becomes much more difficult. The dark circles under panda keepers' eyes never fade, and they do not have appetite due to fatigue, tiredness and sleepiness. 4 to 5 hours of sleeping are not enough at all.



Artificial rearing needs skills, patience, stability and a careful mind. Newborn panda is quite fragile, so sometimes it may take half an hour to feed a baby with only a several millimeters of milk.


Gradually, panda keepers are less tense as panda babies grow up under the intensive care. But they still have to be on duty as usual for panda babies barely able to take care of themselves. Look at the photo below. You want to do it? Actually, it seems easy, but demands labor intensity and skills. Beginners often feel neck and fingers painful and arms powerless after helping babies defecating since they are not so skillful. They shall take more exercises.


Help the panda baby to excrete. High praise for the keeper.


The average weight of a new born baby is around 100g to 200g. It’s very tiny, right? But it starts to grow like a balloon, too. A 50-day-old panda baby weighs 2 kg. Look at the picture below, when you see this panda keeper coming towards you, what’s your first impression? Handsome? Tough? For sure! But to be a panda keeper means you have to be strong as it’s a laboring job. Therefore, this job could bring them many lumbar diseases from soft tissue damage to lower back strain and hyperosteogeny, which are caused by years of heavy physical labor. The most suggestion a beginner receives from a veteran is more care.


This panda baby refuses to climb down the tree, regardless of hot weather or the poor keeper.


Confrontation! Who will win?


“When will I have my time to have a careful look at them?” The words are often heard from a keeper. “They stay with pandas every day. Why do they have the desire?” That’s weird but is the truth. Every day they have a tight agenda, in which, no time is left for family reunion or even sleep! Then, behind the veil, what we can see is hard working continuing year after year. You may ask, “How can they keep working so hard?”


Unbelievable energy in the small body!


Panda keepers' Routine Work


Distraction During the Cleaning Work


What is presented in front us is their seemingly funny life with panda babies, but who notes their efforts on endless care to them; it is not only their routine but also passion and ambition for the post. So, a keeper has two qualities, physical strength and mental power. Being the one you were, showing your love to the post, and keeping moving ahead. Allow me to show my respect to them.


Baby Transfer



A short stay with pandas without any worry is initial and little happiness of the panda keeper.





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