Representatives of the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and officials from the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan province planted bamboo trees in a new plantation on Saturday to mark a new agreement that will help feed pandas in the local panda rescue center.
"They are the first bamboo trees in a 1.6-hectare bamboo plantation that Shangri-La is sponsoring in the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Rescue and Disease Control Center as part of its Care for Panda project," said Zhang Zhemin, chief of the administrative bureau of the Wolong National Nature Reserve.
Before planting bamboo trees, Zhang signed a contract with Shangri-La in which the Hong Kong-based luxury hotel group agreed to plant more than 9,000 bamboo trees in a plantation in the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Rescue and Disease Control Center. The panda center is under the administration of Wolong, China's largest nature reserve for panda conservation.
"The plantation will help provide food for the center's pandas. Currently under construction, the center, which is home to three old pandas rescued from the wild, will eventually house 40 old and sick pandas," Zhang said.
Covering 47 hectares, the center, whose construction started in September last year, is expected to be completed next year. It will also be used as an institution to study pandas' diseases and a base from where the public can take special educational trips to learn about the plight of pandas and engage in activities such as preparing food for pandas in the panda-feeding kitchen.
"We wanted to find an innovative way to contribute to saving pandas that went beyond sponsorship of individual pandas. Shangri-La is honored to be able to work with the center to support these highly endangered animals through our bamboo plantation and giant panda-feeding kitchens," said Patricia Gallardo, Shangri-La International Hotel Management Ltd's director of corporate social responsibility and sustainability. (China Daily)