First panda house opens in Qinghai

Giant panda Liang Liang is seen at the snow-covered wild animal zoo of Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province, Jan. 9, 2019. (Photo/Xinhua)

Pandas will have no trouble adapting to life at high altitudes, and all their food and health requirements will be taken care of, said the director of the first giant panda house on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau on Sunday.

The panda house opened on Sunday in Xining, Northwest China's Qinghai Province. Four pandas from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Southwest China's Sichuan Province are on loan for three years to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Wildlife Zoo. 

During this period, a series of science and educational activities will be held to attract more visitors to the zoo and to Xining, Chinanews reported on Sunday.

The new panda house covers an area of 9,000 square meters with a building area of 4,617 square meters, and it is currently the largest single-unit panda house in China, with independent indoor and outdoor activity spaces and seating areas for the pandas. 

"The panda house has a medical room for regular health checks. Preparations have also been made to deal with emergencies, such as sudden illness," Bai Tao, director of the Xining Panda House, told the Global Times on Sunday.

"It is also equipped with a misting system to keep the right temperature and humidity for the pandas," Bai said.

The pandas, three males and one female, are aged from 3 to 8 years old, and after their move, were renamed as Qing Qing, Ning Ning, Mei Mei and He He, all names connected to their new home or to good fortune. 

All the panda keepers are college graduates who majored in veterinary medicine or animal science, and trained for six months at the Chengdu panda research base before starting work. The Chengdu base will send an expert routinely to give instructions, Bai said. "Bamboo is airlifted from the Chengdu base regularly, and we have a bamboo storage facility to ensure the safety and freshness of their food."

Bamboo is airlifted from the Chengdu base regularly, and we have a bamboo storage facility to ensure the safety and freshness of their food, Bai noted.

The new panda house has attracted many internet users' attention since it started to post news about it on its official Sina Weibo account. 

Besides congratulating the zoo on the pandas' arrival, some asked how easy it will be for them to adjust to their new life on the plateau.

"Giant pandas mainly live at altitudes ranging from 1,200 meters to 3,000 meters and Xining is about 2,000 meters above sea level, so it's suitable for them," Bai said.