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Four 'Junior Ambassadors' Explore the Summer Life of Pandas in SW China's Chongqing

By SHIHAN YANGICHONGQING|Aug 01,2022

Chongqing- Recently, “Charity for (the) Chinese Panda” – Chongqing, Hong Kong, and Macau (Asia and Europe) Youth Nature Exploration kicked off. Four ‘junior charity ambassadors’ from Chongqing went to the Chongqing Zoo to learn how the animals endure the sweltering Chongqing summer. The event was broadcast live on CCTV, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

The four ‘junior charity ambassadors’ (Photo provided to iChongqing)

“The giant panda was chosen to be the face of the event because they are precious, vivacious, lovely, and adored by people at home and abroad,” said Tian Xiaofang, the animal management section technical director of Chongqing Zoo. As the host announced the opening of the live event, four ‘junior ambassadors’ were invited to learn how these lovely animals cope with the summer heat. In addition, Tian Xiaofang also participated in the live broadcast to guide the children through the event.

Throughout the morning, the pandas in the zoo were very active, eating bamboo, playing, and teasing each other. The keeper gave a pair of twin pandas a bath during the live event, and their charmingly naive appearance made everyone giggle and laugh.

Two pandas were eating the bamboo leaves. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Tang Jiagui, chief of the Chongqing Zoo animal section, said the Panda Pavilion is the zoo’s signature exhibition. Caretaking for the giant pandas since 1960, the Chongqing zoo is highly experienced in their wants and needs. Every year, zookeepers use different measures for heatstroke prevention according to each panda’s situation. For example, they sometimes use pools, showers, air conditioning, ice cubes, and fruit to cool the pandas. As the pandas play in a hotter outdoor area every morning and night, the keepers carefully observe their condition and prepare in case of an emergency. Moreover, there is always food and medicine for heatstroke prevention at the Panda Pavilion.

“It’s so much fun! The pandas are so smart that they can use a water pipe to take a shower by themselves!” one of the ‘junior ambassadors,’ Zhou Zhigui, said with excitement. He also said he is very fond of pandas because they are China’s national treasure. Another ‘little ambassador,’ Feng Yanling, said he didn’t expect pandas to be so clingy and so attached to their keepers. “The twin pandas even rushed to take a shower. It was so adorable!”

A zookeeper was bathing the panda. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Then, the ‘little ambassadors’ visited the territory of hippos. When the zookeepers fed them watermelons, carrots, and apples, the two hippos excitedly swam back and forth in the pool and frequently opened their mouths for more food, attracting many tourists.

Tian Xiaofang said that in addition to letting the animals stay in the shade, the zoo also fills the pool so that the elephants can bathe themselves with their trunks. They also gave monkeys and gorillas iced fruit.

“We finally found out how the zoo animals make it through summertime!” The children said merrily that by observing the propensities of these animals, their affection for them has grown, and they promised to love and protect them in the future.

(Tan Sirui, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)

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