It just got a little bit easier to see Giant Pandas–there are more of them. The Chinese government reports that 2006 has been a banner year for panda cubs. According to China Daily, the government’s official English language newspaper, artificial insemination done at panda breeding centers around China has produced a record 27 healthy cubs, out of 30 born live. Scientists first started breeding them in 1960.
Only 1,590 are thought to live in the wild, while another 180 live in zoos or breeding centers worldwide.
We traveled to the Chengdu’s breeding facility last year, which is just outside the city of Chengdu, right in the center of China. It’s a beautiful park, and well worth the visit. If you choose to travel to see the pandas, be sure to also read up on the much larger Wolong Nature Preserve, further north of Chengdu. And don’t forget to sample the wonderful food of the Sichuan region!