Something about taking pandas home
Date: 2021-04-14

Giant pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding feel more comfortable doing outdoor activities. Although their entertainment activities usually revolve around chasing peacocks, acting cute and having extra meals, however, enjoying the outdoor life can also show a giant panda's super taste and unique temperament. There are some pandas that are often lazy outside and do not want to go home, such as Mao Sun who once stayed in a tree for the whole day and night or Si Nianhung who stayed in a tree for three days. The keepers are under a lot of pressure because the pandas refuse to go home. The keepers do everything they can to get the big guys home. Sometimes they call the pandas names and hope they will follow the sound home. When the call of love doesn't work, other means are needed.


In the Moonlight nursery playground, keepers showed us three different ways to call pandas back on the same day and at the same time. It's not that our keepers want to show off, it's because these little guys are so frustrating.


Da Mei walks on the ground, slowly studying the grass in front. With this kind of target the keeper can directly carry the panda away, you just need to bend over and go back home.


Da Mei was easily carried away by the keeper


Da Mei: I'm so embarrassed


Qing Qing rests in a small tree, the keeper cannot reach, so she gently taps the tree with a piece of bamboo .Bamboo can be used to call pandas back and can be seen in many situations. The little guy turns curiously to look at the noise and decided  she's not interested, so he turned his back and continued to huddle in the tree. The keeper is determined, tapping softly and calling "come on, come on down". It didn't take long for Qing Qing to admit defeat and slide slowly down the tree, finally jumping into the arms of a keeper who kept calling her and carrying her away. The tourists who saw it all cheered.


Qing Qing is ready to come down after the bamboo war


Qing Qing: I'm coming, please come and hug me.


Finally, Xiao Xin, the naughty little guy climbed to the top of the tree. The length of the bamboo pole is not long enough to get Xiao Xin's attention. The keeper had to resort to the ultimate means - the long ladder. The keeper placed the long ladder gently against the tree and tried to get Xiao Xin down. The strong girl Xiao Xin didn't cooperate and  hung firmly to  the tree. This was a test of both courage and patience. During the whole process, the keeper must be gentle, not only to pull Xiao Xin's claws from the tree, but also to prevent Xiao Xin  from falling out of the tree. The keeper was so tired getting Xiao Xin down. At one side is the call of a keeper mum, at the other side is the gentle keeper dad, a considerate team that brings their pandas home.


Keeper dad needed to use a ladder to bring Xiao Xin down from the tree


Xiao Xin: This height is the best!


It's not unusual for keepers to climb up a tree and help pandas come home. It's a necessary skill. The keepers and the panda cubs get along with each other peacefully,but keepers can't get close to the more dangerous adult pandas. Their common method is using food to lure pandas home. For example, when Qing Da,XiaoNi, Meng Lan and Qing Xiao  lived in No .1 villa, the keeper armed with a small pot full of apples, would successfully call them home by knocking on the railing.


Apples and panda bread are the best ways to lure pandas home, most of them will cooperate  for food, but Mao Mao is different.


On a sunny, breezy morning, Mao Mao was eating bamboo shoots, and her rhythmic chewing sounds showed how happy she was. The keeper called Mao Mao and waved a red apple hanging from a bamboo pole in front of her. After a lot of effort, the keeper finally attracted her attention. When Mao Mao reached for the apple, the keeper moved it away again, trying to make Mao Mao follow him. After several repetitions, Mao Mao returned empty-handed, and lost interest in the apple.


When a panda eats an apple, it doesn't waste a bit. They love apples dearly. But Mao Mao is a giant panda with a strong sense of self-respect. Even in the face of her favorite food, she is unyielding. She turned back to continue to eat bamboo shoots, and no longer paid attention to the keeper's calling or his apple.


Mao Mao is focused on bamboo and ignores apples.


Mao Mao: Don’t try to test my temper.


The task of calling Mao Mao back failed, and the keeper collected the apples and returned inside. I don't know how he felt at the time, but I'm afraid he must have developed a strong heart in the face of rejection from these naughty guys. To make things worse, the surrounding tourists were amused by such a scene and were amazed at the charm of our national treasures.


In their playground at the Panda Base, what we often see is that the giant pandas eat and sleep, with little activity. In fact, they have their own personalities. In addition to calling pandas back home and the stubborn battle of wits with our keepers, other times the pandas can be very cooperative. For more, check out our  fun video of pandas right now.




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