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We parted company with Jasmine a few days early in order to go to Chengdu to visit the Panda Breeding Research Base.  We took a taxi to take us the 10 kilometres north of the city.   It had only been open to the public for five years and had greatly improved its facility by the time of our second visit in 2007

The panda diet consists almost exclusively of bamboo, leaves, stems and shoots.   Although they consume vast quantities of bamboo they derive very little nutrient value from it and a decline in bamboo habitat has led to the species becoming endangered.  They eat and they sleep then they eat and sleep some more but here in Chengdu is one of the best places to see them do it

The babies are particularly cute and by 2007 it was possible to have a photo op. holding one in the nursery area 

Unfortunately I had neither $100 cash nor a credit card on me

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