A couple of great videos produced by National Geographic, UKTV, YouTube, giving us a close glimpse inside what the panda teams at the Wolong China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center or Ya'an,Bifengxia Panda Base, do during breeding season and how they handle twins when they are born.
Unlike our zoo's in the U.S. where they have set up birthing dens for the mother pandas so they can reach in through a small door, to remove a young cub for its check up or to swap out twins, the teams at the base actually enter the enclosure with the mother panda to do this.
I have taken that moment where the keeper enters the enclosure, slowed it down and focused on where the cub is being held by its mother. With a pan of water to act as a distraction watch how the keeper reaches in to remove one of the twins to swap out for the other they have in a box outside the enclosure. You have to have nerves of steel to do this. Whew
The breeding area is set aside from the rest of the research base. Its designed with an walkway that encircles the top of each enclosure, so that they can observe the behavior of the pandas clearly and guide them from above, notice the bamboo pole that is used.
This base is nestled right into the mountainside, as well as being in the middle of panda country (Wolong Reserve). You have to be sure to visit this base, its like no other in the world where you can be this close to pandas and take in the beautiful panda habitat. You will soon come to realize how important it is to preserve this complex environment from encroaching development.