Since I was accompanied on this trip by the famous environmental martyr Ian Thomas, who, at some point, presented me with an ultimatum, "No more buddhas, or else!" - I agreed to check out the wildlife. In fact, Ian's mission in China was to locate the elusive South China tiger, which he the Panjiayuan Market in Beijing. At the same time, China now has a death penalty for killing a panda. We set out to Wolong, where they have learned how to breed baby pandas, which are then supposed to be reintroduced into the wild. But this is yet to happen. At the moment, tourists (mostly Chinese) arrive in such large numbers that the locals cut the remaining bamboo trees to cook smoked pork which the tourists adore. Cutting bamboo creates holes in pandas' already dwindling habitat, but no one seems to care as long as for $10, any tourist can hold a panda, posing for a picture...

Giant Panda
Red Panda
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