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Suzanne Braden's Journey to China - Part Two
Day Five

Tracy and Jiao Yang

Today Dr. Tang took us to meet Mr. Wen who's in charge of building the new Center for Disease Control in Dujiangyan. Excavation on the site has begun and it is projected to be completed in November of 2012. The CDC Center will consist of a hospital, office administration building, a quarantine unit, a research center, staff housing and a Public Education exhibit. There will be 25 enclosures for training and rescue, 10 enclosures for disease prevention, and 5 quarantine enclosures.

The Dujiangyan Rehabilitation Medical Treatment & Research Center will have 5 areas of focus:
Digestion, Respiratory, Parasites, Nutrition/Metabolism and Epidemiology/Epidemics including cancers found in Giant Pandas (lung, pancreas, ovarian, and skin).

In the evening we met the Hug My Cub group for dinner.
Day Six

Went with the Hug My Cub group to a village destroyed in the earthquake but now rebuilt in the Tibetan style of architecture.

Day Seven
Visited the Dujiangyan Irrigation project and then returned to Ya'an to meet Kim's World Travel group.

Day Eight
Fu Long
Fu Long

Everyone was up early to head to Bifengxia. Most of the group volunteered cleaning cages, scooping poop and carrying bamboo. Dozens of pictures were taken. The group had photos taken with one year olds and then again playing with the two year olds. Everyone loved the photo times.

Tai Shan
Tai Shan (photo courtesy of Chet Chin)

In the afternoon I spent time with Tai Shan and Fu Long. Fu Long has a very distinctive white mark on his foot and likes to climb high in the trees to sleep. Tai Shan prefers his new climbing structure provided by Pandas Unlimited to enrich his enclosure. Mostly Tai just likes to eat bamboo.

After a long day at the Panda Center, Pandas International hosted a staff appreciation dinner to let them know how much we appreciate all they do for the Giant Pandas. With everyone so focused on the Giant Pandas, it is important to let the staff know how much we appreciate them and all their hard work.

Day Nine
Tian Tian
Tian Tian

It was my last day at the Panda Center so I tried to spend as much time as possible with the Giant Pandas. I went to see the Giant Pandas scheduled to go to Edinburgh- Tian Tian which means sweet and Yuang Guang which means sunshine. They have been nicknamed McSweet and McSun in honor of their new Scottish home.

Kai Kai
Kai Kai

I also saw the two Giant Pandas scheduled to go to Singapore- Kai Kai and Jia Jia who were also a very cute couple.

Hua Mei
Hua Mei
Kai Kai
Cub and mom in tree
I spent a lot of time at the new Breeding Center where several one year old cubs were still with their mothers. Allowing cubs to stay with their mothers for up to two years has reduced the number of cubs born, but resulted in a more natural process similar to the experience in the wild. The cubs with their moms all seemed to prefer sleeping high in the trees. Hua Mei and her cub Yang Hu both looked great.

Hua Mei
Kindergarten cubs
I could spend half the day watching the cubs in the Kindergarten. Seems like the spot in the tree someone else occupies is the best spot, and seeing if you can get to that spot is often the goal of the day. That explains the number of photos with one cub sitting on another.

One last trip to see Tai Shan and then it was time to head to the farewell banquet with lots of food and lots of toasting. Following the banquet we went to another building for dancing and awards. Pandas International was recognized for our contributions to the Panda Center. I thought of all the wonderful people who help us by making contributions and purchasing our products and wished they could be here with me. After all, they are Pandas International.

Suzanne Braden
Director of Pandas International

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