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Panda and I – Part 2 of 2

Post by Weiyi Zhang (Pat) via Pandas International

I always feel lucky that I made a the choice to take a half day trip to the Chengdu Panda Base in May 2003, and I always feel proud that I seized the chance to hold Ya Shuang and take pictures with her. It was very precious opportunity that not many people have.

Pandas did not really become an integral part of my life until 2006. During the Chinese New Year holidays, I saw on the news that 16 panda cubs born in 2005 in Wolong had entered “Kindergarten.” They were playing in the snow and they looked so lovely and lively. I searched on Internet and found the Wolong Panda Club. I became a permanent member.

In August 2006, I received an invitation from Wolong Panda Club for the “Hug Panda Baby” event. However, since it was rather short notice and I was busy with my job, I missed the chance. I told myself I would not miss the chance next time.

In Feb. 2007, I finally went to beautiful Wolong for the first time and witnessed the panda cubs born in 2006 enter the Kindergarten. I hugged a very cute panda named Qian Qian, a girl who was the elder panda of twins born Sept. 11, 2006. She had exactly the same name as my lovely niece, so I adopted her without hesitation.

Since then, Qian Qian and all other pandas at Wolong have become part of my life. Before the earthquake of May 12, 2012, I went to Wolong 3 times. After the earthquake, I went to Bifengxia 7 times and Kunming 5 times, where Qian Qian was evacuated soon after the earthquake. I had never thought I would go to a place again and again like this and I had never thought that I would not feel bored just to see one kind of animal for days. But the pandas make this happen. They are so beautiful, so cute, so intelligent, so calm, so peaceful and so quiet. They give me happiness and inner peace. I love them so much!

Now that Qian Qian is already back in Bifengxia, I no longer need to go to Kunming, but I know I will go to Bifengxia and Wolong countless times in the future. I’m especially longing to see New Wolong, the new home for the pandas.

During my panda trips I got to know the keepers, the staff, and panda lovers from many parts of the world and have become friends with them. I’m also very happy that I could assist Pandas International in helping pandas. No matter how little I do, I know because I do, the pandas will have a better future.