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Virtual reality ‘paradise’ allows interaction with giant pandas

Virtual reality to see Chengdu pandas

Cutting-edge virtual reality technology enables visitors to watch giant pandas in a new show which opens in 2018.

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding based in Sichuan province is fine-tuning the plans. The centre has finalised a contract with a Beijing company to provide the VR technology in July.

There will be high-res images of pandas at rest and play in bamboo forests in the new facility which will turn the first and second floors into the VR attraction. The VR glasses will make the views of the pandas incredibly crisp and authentic.

Visitors can “feel and hold” the virtual animals, according to Chen Cheng, an information officer at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

The entertainment centre also holds a cinema where visitors can watch videos or play games.

“The centre has become the best destination worldwide for people to enjoy and learn about pandas,” Zhang Zhihe, the head of the centre, told China Daily.

Around four million people come to the Chengdu centre to watch the giant pandas.

Virtual reality comes to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

“Thanks to the construction of a virtual reality panda-themed paradise, visitors will be able to experience something very much like feeling a real panda,” said Wan, a photographer from Beijing.

“I have been to the Chengdu panda base and the Du¬jiangyan base, as well as to the three bases of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda. But I have never had the privilege of feeling a panda,” he said, according to cetusnews.

Improved VR experience for visitors

“In the paradise there will be pictures of different pandas and bamboo forests. When visitors put on VR eyeglasses, it will all seem real. Pandas will stand up, sit down, eat bamboo or wander in the forests. People will be able to feel and hold the virtual pandas as they would in real life,” Chen Cheng, information officer at the centre said.

A new Dujiangyan panda international ecological theme resort, is at the planning stage. The local government signed a contract in July, with Sichuan Provincial Investment Group in an investment deal worth around 20.8 billion yuan ($3.16 billion).

The “Panda Valley” will include a panda-themed park and have pandas in their natural habitat. Research will study of the wild breeding of pandas, as breeding in captivity is notoriously difficult.

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