Sichuan guarantees food supply for overseas pandas amid epidemic
The customs of Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, has been making efforts to check and handle batches of fresh bamboo bound for overseas giant pandas amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
A total of 527 kg of fresh bamboo and bamboo shoots have been sent to Russia by air from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport on Saturday. Chengdu customs said it was the ninth batch of outbound fresh bamboo that they have handled since the Spring Festival this year.
The bamboo is produced by a company in the city of Mianyang, which specializes in panda food production. It has exported 2,554 kg of panda food to Canada, Russia and other countries since the Spring Festival, which falls on Jan. 25.
"Our raw materials are mainly collected from mountainous areas higher than 1,000 meters above sea level. The epidemic has had a slight impact on our production, but the reduction of international flights has affected our timeliness," said Zhang Anbing, from the company.
The local customs office learned the company's plight and opened a green channel for the company during the outbreak, in a bid to ensure food supply for overseas pandas and the company's exports.
The diet of giant pandas is almost exclusively bamboo, and each panda can eat 20 to 30 kg of bamboo per day.