East China to build giant panda summer retreat

Fuzhou, capital of east China’s Fujian Province, is planning to build a new giant panda center in the city’s mountainous suburbs.

The center, to be built in Yixia Village, will serve as both a research base and a summer vacation home for the bears.

SOUNDBITE: CHEN YUCUN, Fuzhou Giant Panda Research Center
“Fuzhou is only 83 meters above sea level. It’s too low compared with an altitude of two to four thousands meters giant pandas are accustomed to living. The Yixia Village is around 1,000 meters above sea level. It’ll be much better.”

The giant panda was first introduced to Fujian in 1977

The Fuzhou Giant Panda Research Center, established in 1992, is the only one of its kind in southeast China, hosting seven of these bears.

Due to hot weather in the summer, the pandas are often sent to a temporary shelter on the mountains. But some facilities have been damaged due to recurring typhoons.

SOUNDBITE: CHEN YUCUN, Fuzhou Giant Panda Research Center
“We are now trying to find a place that can serve both purposes of education, and protection of the giant pandas.”

The new center in Yixia Village will cover over 1.3 hectares and villas will be built to accommodate up to five pandas.

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