Panda caretakers badly needed in a zoo in China
Do you have what it takes to be a panda caretaker?
A sprawling panda reserve in China has revealed that they have been struggling to find the perfect caretakers for pandas in captivity, as it could not find any suitable candidates despite receiving hundreds of applicantions for the job.
The Nanshan Mountain Bamboo Scenery Zone in Jiangsu province in eastern China, said that the recruitment of panda caretakers is slowly becoming a “headache” as they couldn’t hire enough caretakers due to a lack of qualifications.
How hard is taking care of a panda?
A manager of the zoo said that caring for and tending to the needs of pandas held in captivity is not that easy, as it requires more than just feeding and playing with them. He said that the job requires very high levels of professionalism, personality, and observational skills.
Although the salary of a panda caretaker averages US$1,000 ($1,300) per month in China, the job requires sharing the joys and sorrows of numerous pandas, including raising them and weighing their faeces, observing their moods, and distributing their food bamboo.
And because of the very high threshold, very few applicants get accepted, and at the moment, they have yet to recruit a single caretaker.
However, the manager said that what they’re looking for in a panda caretaker are those with a degree in livestock rearing or veterinary medicine, and are extremely patient and responsible.
“They must love animals,” he said, as those with experience would have “a plus.”
Pandas in China
Data from the Chinese National Forestry and Grassland Administration revealed that the majority of the 673 pandas currently living in captivity around the world are in China, with more or less 1,800 living in the wild.
Pandas living in captivity are tended to 24 hours a day.
The recruitment issue at the panda sanctuary has generated a lot of discussion among mainland internet users, with many offering their opinions on the matter.
Some individuals poked fun at the difficult qualifications for the post of panda caretaker, saying that the “world’s best job” is actually the toughest one with a “too high bar to be reached.”
Others said that it’s warranted, as pandas are very sensitive in nature, and could really have the most painful bite even though their teeth are small.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and lifestyle writer who focuses on politics, the economy, and pop culture. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter. Also check out our Southeast Asia, Food, and Gaming channels on YouTube.