CHENGDU, September 29, 2018 (Press Release)
The globally treasured furry black and white animals native to Chengdu once again proved a big hit with ATP stars who took time out to visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding this week.
The tournament organised morning trips with a total of 15 players signing up for the excursion, including Italian tournament top seed Fabio Fognini, second seeded Korean Hyeon Chung, Italian Matteo Berrettini and Americans Tim Smyczek and Bradley Klahn.
The players caught the lovable creatures on a good day, as several baby and adult giant pandas frolicked around on the garden while a few red pandas clambered around the nearby trees.
“This is nice and something different. We saw small baby pandas, big ones and red ones. It was my first experience seeing them and it was really nice,” said Fognini.
“I saw a lot of pandas – big pandas, small pandas, kung fu panda,” joked Chung. “I’ve never seen pandas before so I really enjoyed it. It’s as a great experience for me.”
“It’s a really unique experience for us. It’s the only place you are going to find it in the world. It’s pretty cool to see the pandas pretty active today with the babies as well. It was pretty special,” added Klahn.
Founded in 1987, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, or simply Chengdu Panda Base, is a non-profit research and breeding facility for giant pandas and other rare animals. Starting with just six pandas that were rescued from the wild, the centre now hosts more than 130 giant pandas and red pandas.