Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries
Both of the Adelaide pandas were born and raised at Wolong Nature Reserve. This reserve is one of seven reserves that form the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries located in the Sichuan province of China. Of the estimated 1600 pandas left in the world over 30% live in these reserves. The sanctuary is not just for Giant Pandas; it is also a sanctuary for other at risk or endangered species such as the clouded leopard, snow leopard, red panda and the golden snub-nose monkey.
In 2006 the UN declared the sanctuaries a UNESCO world heritage site.
Wolong Nature Reserve
The reserve covers an area just under 2000 square kilometres with a diverse environment consisting of both habitable river valleys and ice covered mountains. The majority of the population live and farm in the river valleys, with the mountain slopes consisting of bamboo groves as well as deciduous and coniferous forests. There are 20 glacier covered mountain peaks that sit over 4000m about sea level.
Wo Long translated stands for “sleeping dragon” and the name comes from the local Qiang people. They believed that the mountainous peaks that run through the centre of the reserve were formed by a large dragon that wandered through the valleys and fell in love with the mountains and the trees. It fell asleep and has never woken up.