With the setting of the sun, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding transforms into a bamboo forest of tranquility as visitors taper down and birds Hock and settle into their nests. The busiest time of the day for panda keepers comes at 16:30 at what is affectionately nicknamed “calling back the pandas”.
At the Sunshine Nursery House, there echo calls of “Come back, Cheng Gong! Come back,Qing He!”
Along with the calls and whistles, as well dinner basins are knocked together to convince the pandas to come back to their dens. When the pandas hear these familiar sounds, they all inn excitedly toward their individual enclosures regardless of what they were previously doing, be that sunbathing on a tree, or cubs playing in the yard. Panda mothers typically enter their dens and position themselves in comfortable postures to feast on the bamboo shoots lying around them.Their munching and swallowing sounds resonate across the entire Sunshine Nursery House.
Each age range desires and requires different foods. Panda mothers prefer bunches of fresh bamboo shoots for their decadent dinner, cubs enjoy basins of sweet formula, and newborns nurse on their mothers to grow strong and healthy.
On June 30, 2014, petite mother Ya Xing gave birth to twins named Xing Yu and Xing Yuan. After
being called back, Ya Xing has a tendency to sniff thoroughly throughout her freshly cleaned indoor enclosure. Very shortly afterwards keeper Tang brings Xing Yu in her arms Rom the nursing room to her mother to nurse. Xing Yu weighs approximately 4.9kg and looks like a ball of fluff. Tang passes Xing Yu through the bars to her mother, gently reminding Ya Xing to hold her well.
Once little Xing Yu is cradled against her mother’s chest, she begins to root around for the teats to nurse. Both mother and cub make humming-like vocalizations during nursing when they are extremely comfortable. After having more than 10 minutes of.her mother Ya Xing’s milk, Xing Yu is sleepy.Then Tang takes Xing Yu away from the arms of Ya Xing.
In the nursing room, Tang weighs Xing Yu on an electronic scale. The number finally reads 5.1kg. It means that Xing Yu has just consumed 200g breast milk. When put amongst her little fiends born this year, her large size makes her stand out.
One-year-old He Xing is still nursing and weighs more than 30kg. He is aggressive when it comes to nursing and jumps onto his mother Cheng Gong’s chest, and suckles. His mother is incredibly patient and shows her affection trough grooming during this special bonding moment.
At the Sunshine Nursery House, row upon row of small enclosures by green plants form an oval shape. The enclosures offer a variety of options for the cubs: a grassy area, streams to play and drink, large trees to climb, and enrichment like hanging tires, swings and platforms.
Through the rows of glass windows in the Sunshine Nursery House, visitors can watch the unfolding scene in the nursing room. The newborn cubs in the incubators and the infants sleeping on the little beds are all seen clearly trough the glass. This is the most popular location at the Chengdu Panda Base, and everyday visitors queue to view the pandas Rom glass window viewing location.
Every morning at 8 o’clock at the Sunshine Nursery House, the one-year-old cubs run out of their enclosures into the morning sunlight, whilst their mothers refuse to leave their indoor enclosures until they have eaten their breakfast The mothers will not come out until they are fully fed.
The Sunshine Nursery House was built in 2000, and is 1km away from the Moonlight Nursery House which was built in 2012. It is located at the central part of the Chengdu Panda Base, connected by paths with sub-adult and other giant panda enclosures. The Moonlight Nursery House shyly hides amidst a low green island, joined via a steel cable bridge to the main path. These two nursery houses are the most attractive places in d1e Chengdu Panda Base for visitors.