People visiting this capital city of southwest China's Sichuan Province will one day have the
opportunity to up close and personal with one of the world's most
endangered species at the world's first panda town.
The 2-square-km project will be part of the planned 30-square-km
Chengdu Giant Panda International Ecological Tourism Resort, said
Yang Feifei, an official with the Chengdu Research Base of Giant
In addition to the so-called panda town, the resort will consist
of a 100-hectare giant panda ecological park and a semi-wild giant
panda breeding area where visitors can watch the bears.
It is hoped that the town will encourage visitors to spend more
time in Chengdu. No date has been set for the start of
At present, it takes visitors half a day to visit the Chengdu
Research Base of Panda Breeding. After the town is completed,
people will be able to stay overnight, giving them more time to
interact with the base's pandas.
They will be able to feed the endangered bears and even work as
volunteers, Yang said.
Although the panda town has a long way to go, the giant panda
ecological park, which is to be located in the northern suburbs of
Chengdu, will be completed and open to the public next year. The
park will cost 500 million yuan (US$66 million), according to the
Chengdu Cultural Tourism Group.
The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is home to 62
of the world's 1,590 pandas. Covering about 33 hectares, the base
is devoted mainly to giant panda breeding and research.
But the ecological park to be built is aimed at boosting
tourism, said Huang Qiang, chief of the marketing department of the
Chengdu Cultural Tourism Group, which is Chengdu's only state-owned
entity in charge of the promotion of the city's cultural and
"A gigantic maternity ward for pandas is being built. It will
consist of panda dens, an indoor shelter area, an observation area
for visitors and delivery rooms for the pandas. Covering nearly
3,361 square meters, the ward is expected to be completed before
October 1," Huang said.
(China Daily July 11, 2007)