As many of you know, our friends at Explore.org have generously donated a number of Panda cams at Bifengxia so that we can all keep an eye on our beloved bears. As you may also know, the cams have had a few “issues” over the past year…so we thought we’d give a quick update to let you know why and where we’re going!
The Panda Base at Bifengxia is quite remote – about two hours travel time outside of Chengdu. The remote nature of the base is intentional as it was designed to be a more natural habitat for the pandas rather than a zoo environment, but it does introduce some problems from a technical perspective. Electrical lines and internet cables running to the base are prone to damage and interruption, especially from natural disasters that have plagued the area.
The earthquake that hit the Sichuan Province in April caused a lot of damage to the panda cams. Sadly, the first shipment of replacement parts was also damaged during transport, delaying the necessary repairs. A second shipment of parts was sent but met with delays due to the massive flooding that closed roads, caused massive landslides, and damaged infrastructure. It’s been quite the struggle, to say the least, in getting these cams fully operational once more!
Our hopes are that the cams will be repaired within the next few weeks. We’ve gotten word that the parts are almost at the reserve! We are so excited to see the pandas on camera again (and we think the pandas are secretly excited too). Thank you, everyone, for your continued support and patience while Explore works diligently to get our pandas back.