Welcome to our Panda Blog

The zoo is in full-blown panda fever about the arrival of our new black-eyed bears in summer 2017 – and plenty of visitors and zoo fans are just as excited as we are. The animals will be the only pandas in Germany, making them a real Zoo Berlin highlight. To help with the wait until our black-and-white friends arrive, we will be keeping this blog regularly updated with all the latest news surrounding “Project Panda”.

Panda facts

Did you know that, unlike other bears, pandas don’t hibernate? Instead, when winter comes they simply stroll down from the mountains to lower, cosier altitudes.

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Signed, sealed, but not quite delivered yet!

It’s now official: in June 2017, Berlin will welcome two giant pandas from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Following months of negotiations between Germany and China, today Zoo Berlin was able to celebrate the final signing of the contract. Zoo Director Dr Andreas Knieriem placed his signature at the bottom of the important document in the presence of the Ambassador of China, his Excellency Shi Mingde, and an entire delegation from Beijing and Chengdu. Vice-President of the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA), Li Qingwen, had already signed the contract in China.

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We can see clearly now!

The panda residence is almost finished. But this is no time to rush things, as now begins the delicate task of fitting the windows. Over the past few days, a team of builders have been using a crane to help them carefully place the large plate-glass windows – up to 3.5 metres high and 33 millimetres thick – into their frames in the Panda Plaza.

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Flying benches!

Last week, visitors may have witnessed benches taking to the air. These have now landed in the Panda Plaza and have been carefully manoeuvred into their final positions. The modern benches have a curved, contoured design that will give great viewing comfort.

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It’s up!

The scaffolding that has been holding up the roof over the past few weeks has been gradually removed – and the enormous structure is now in place, sitting majestically atop the Panda Plaza with just a few pillars for support. The skylights over the pandas’ two indoor areas are staring up at the sky like two huge eyes, wondering when the new inhabitants will be flying in from China.

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Waving goodbye to our green giant

The 32-metre-high crane will not be needed for the final touches to the roof and the last of the excavation work, so it’s time to bid a fond farewell to our lanky friend and helper. Watch our time-lapse video to see the colossus slowly collapsing in on itself.

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