The much loved giant pandas are an international symbol for wildlife conservation efforts and are considered to be a national wildlife treasure in its native China. The taxonomical classification of pandas was disputed for many years, as it seems to share characteristics with bears as well as raccoons. This issue now appears to be resolved as molecular analysis seems to confirm that it is indeed a kind of bear.

Today in the wild the panda is confined to a few mountainous areas in the central areas of China, principally in the province of Sichuan, but also in Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. The panda once thrived on lower elevations, but now deforestation, farming and developmental activities have driven it out of these habitats.
Any visitor to China who would like to observe these endearing creatures may visit the Giant Panda Sanctuary in Sichuan, also known as the Wolong Panda Reserve. This vast area of 200,000 hectares has been established to conserve the endangered population of giant pandas which are strictly protected within this area. In fact this sanctuary is considered to be the largest, earliest and most renowned reserve for pandas in this vast nation.

A research centre devoted to the breeding and conservation of these magnificent animals may be found in the environs. A number of captive pandas may be seen at this site, which was established with the cooperation of the World Wildlife Fund.

At the research centre the most advanced state of the art technologies are employed to provide the best environment and care for the resident pandas. Visitors will be able to observe the pandas eating, interacting and resting, an opportunity rarely to be found elsewhere. You can even take a photograph with a tiny panda baby. Individuals from any nation may adopt a panda and name it simply by making a donation.

Additionally the visitor will see other rare animals at the sanctuary like the white-lipped deer, golden monkey, red panda and gnu as well as interesting varieties of trees and plants.
The discerning visitor interested in greater China hotels will find an outstanding collection in the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels China. These hotels in China offer quality accommodations and attentive service.

Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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