Volunteering with giant pandas in a breeding centre in China!
China is famous for its giant pandas who, as a result of farming, deforestation and other development, have been driven out of the lowland areas where they once lived and are now classified as “endangered” and “vulnerable”.
Estimated numbers of giant pandas in the wild in China vary from 1,000 to 2,000 and those kept in zoos and breeding programs around the world rarely reproduce so the world gets very excited when baby giant pandas are born!
At this giant panda breeding project, in 2018 they were lucky to have 4 baby giant pandas born!
This volunteering placement caring for giant pandas is a unique opportunity for you to help in every aspect of care for pandas in a panda breeding centre in China! You will be assigned to a specific handler and his or her pandas and your handler will teach you all there is to know about caring for the pandas.
In the wild, the pandas would be more carnivorous but at the breeding centre their diet consists mostly of bamboo and other vegetables and supplements. Some of the pandas are old so need a diet appropriate to their age. Producing enough bamboo for 22 pandas munching away all day is a huge job, hence the fact that they like the volunteers to help with the continual planting of new bamboo trees!
All the pandas have a dedicated Chinese handler and you will work under them and help them with:
feeding the pandas
cleaning out their indoor areas
cleaning up their outdoor areas including water features
encouraging the pandas to be mobile! Enrichment!
planting bamboo trees
teaching the Chinese staff how to speak good English
teaching English to Chinese children in a local school
This opportunity is suitable for:
Gap Year/Year out/Sabbaticals
those travelling round China wanting to visit and get involved with a panda breeding centre
those studying zoology
those studying Mandarin
In your spare time, immerse yourself in the local Chinese life and traditions, such as learning how to make dumplings!
Visit a local farm, help the farmer grow his kiwis and green beans and share a meal with him and his family!
Planting new bamboo trees is part of the placement as the pandas get through a lot of bamboo throughout the day. However they do eat other foods to supplement their diets.
The staff at this giant panda breeding centre would appreciate it if you could help them learn English so that they are able to converse with visitors and also volunteers who come to help care for the giant pandas.
Teaching English also takes place locally. The local school would also appreciate it if you could visit them once a week to help the students with their spoken English.
During the day, there are quiet times so we recommend you take a book along with you and rest during these periods.
Contact us to discuss when you would like to go – whether you are an individual or a group, this is a unique opportunity to be part of this exciting giant panda breeding centre!
TESOL TEACHING COURSE
If you are planning to teach English as a foreign language in China, then we really recommend doing a TESOL Teaching Course before you arrive at your destination. There are many on-line courses you can do but the TESOL course includes the preparation and teaching of 5 lessons to foreign students whilst training in the UK and gives you, as a trainee teacher, some practical experience which is invaluable. You are also assigned your own Foreign Student and taught how to assess them, prepare a one-to-one lesson based on the assessment and deliver it, and then plan 5 more remedial lessons for your student. The course covers also business English and teaching children as well as teaching adults for conversation. You can read more about it on our blog here:
|Number of weeks||Price||What's included in the price|
|1 week minimum||£890||Local airport transfers|
|4 weeks||£2,240||orientation on arrival|
|5 weeks||£2,690||placement assisting handler caring for pandas|
|6 weeks||£3,140||tour of other animals at centre|
|Visit to local farm|
|Visit to local school|