A short distance from downtown Chengdu lies the Chengdu Panda Base a non-profit, breeding facility that was founded in 1987. Among its goals are to be a world class research facility, a conservation education centre and an international tourism destination. In addition to pandas, there are quiet bamboo lanes, a rose garden, and exhibits with other endangered Chinese animals such as the red panda and the golden monkey.
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Giant Pandas are synonymous with China and are beloved around the world. The scientific name for the giant panda is Ailuropoda melanoleuca. They have a distant cousin, the red panda which in many respects is a bit closer in similarity to a racoon. Giant pandas come from South and West China in a few mountainous and heavily forested areas. 'Panda' is an English name (borrowed from the French) and in China they are called daxiongma.
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Pandas are normally solitary although the territories of up to seven pandas may slightly overlap and the pandas will communicate with each other through scent deposits. These two juveniles are about a year old and share enclosure with a number of other youngsters at the Chengdu Panda Research Base.
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Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens) are distantly related to giant pandas and are closer to racoons. They are generally nocturnal, solitary animals living mainly on bamboo but are also omnivores. There are believed to be less than 10,000 red pandas living in the forests of Asia.
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