Panda babysitter in NE China

Updated: 2017-02-16

Zhang Meng had never imagined that he would be so close to pandas for nearly 24 hours every day before he became a "babysitter" of these national treasures at the Jilin Province Siberian Tiger Park in Changchun.

Zhang was selected to be a breeder and veterinarian in 2014, and in the next year, Jiajia and Mengmeng — two young adult pandas — were flown from Sichuan province to Jilin province to start their Northeastern life in the Siberian Tiger Park.

Since then, Zhang became a babysitter, taking care of the two treasures.

"The panda house features showers, air-conditioner, and air vent devices to strictly control the air quality and humidity to ensure the pandas can feel comfortable and quickly adapt to the new environment," Zhang explained.

To date, the two pandas have lived in Changchun for one and a half years and except for important traditional holidays, Zhang would stay with the pandas.

"The daily life of pandas is filled with eating and sleeping," he said, "Their lives are easy and simple."

Being the panda babysitter is tiring but delightful work. Zhang has to take care of everything that happens to the pandas and notice of environment changes around them. Meanwhile, he is also responsible for the introduction presentations for visitors.

"I need to introduce the pandas' habits to visitors, particularly those younger ones, every day and even have no time to eat or drink. But it is interesting and makes me happy when I see smiles on children's faces and the happy pandas," Zhang said.