As a Panda Nanny, not only do you get to care for cuddly cubs everyday, you also get to contribute to giant panda conservation efforts.
Although it pays less than the starting salary for teachers in many parts of the western world, being a Giant Panda nanny still ranks among the best of all jobs.
The Giant Panda & Research Center in Sichuan Province, China, and other establishments housing pandas routinely announce vacancies for panda nannies.
As a panda nanny, you won’t have to see the lovable bears from afar anymore. You’ll actually get to see, touch, and care for giant panda cubs everyday.
Below are some basic tips to have you prepared for any opportunities in panda care.
Some Basic Requirements For A Panda Nanny Job
Job seekers who wish to be part of panda care should be at least 22-years old with good photography and writing skills. In addition, you should have some basic knowledge about pandas.
Despite the fact that the main panda breeding centers are in China, the ability to speak Chinese language isn’t a qualification requirement.
Typically, the job pays around $32,000 (200,000 yuan) for foreign workers annually in addition to meals, accommodation, and an SUV for transport.
Currently, most panda nannies are unpaid volunteers from Japan, Europe and the U.S.
However, of recent conservation supporters like the Ford Motor Company have committed to sponsoring paid positions. This is part of a new program designed to increase global awareness of the need to conserve pandas.
Although it is still unclear how many job positions were available when the project kicked off, organizers said that the nannies’ work was just one thing; spending 365-days with the pandas, feeding them, playing with them, and sharing in their daily experiences.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of locations worldwide that house giant pandas that house giant pandas and you can always find out if or when they have openings.
Tips From An Experienced Panda Nanny
One caregiver, 25 year old Zhang Meng, is a giant panda nanny who has a few years of experience and he works in the Panda-Hall at the Siberia-Tiger Park in China’s Ji – Lin province.
As a nanny he is required to clean, feed & give them full time attention. Zhang says that taking care of the pandas requires diligence, patience and love. That’s because you have to make them feel comfortable around human beings. Hence, paying attention to detail is important.
Some of the tips he shared includes:
- The caregiver ensuring they don’t have strong body odor (from perfumes and lotions) because pandas are very sensitive smell and hearing too.
- Zhang says that pandas won’t eat food from strangers so one must first earn their trust in order to feed them.
- Some of the food that he serves the two pandas at park are bamboos, vegetables fruits and vitamin infused cornbread.
- Also, you must take time to cut food such as apples into bite chunks.
Physical fitness and stamina is also a must because you may have to spend much of your day on your feet and pay rapt attention always.
Research estimates show that there are still less than 2,500 giant pandas in the wilderness. Although reports from the IUCN indicate that the population of giant pandas is increasing gradually.