WSJ: “To kittens and puppies, now add the latest species for couch potatoes to gush over: giant pandas.
China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has launched a free 24-hour live Internet broadcast of the cuddly critters, state-run Xinhua news agency said Monday.
Viewers can watch the pandas at the base in southwestern Sichuan province, part of their native domicile, via 28 cameras planted in five areas that will feed six channels: “garden for adult pandas,” “kindergarten,” “nursery for twins,” “mother-and-child playground,” “No.1 Villa” and “featured.”
In keeping with the bears’ famously laid-back characteristics, the broadcasts have an addictively soporific feel to them, based on China Real Time Report’s viewing of several clips the base posted as sneak peeks.
In one clip, two giant pandas sprawled motionless amid quivering leaves and small skittish birds on an elevated loft. About two minutes later, the angle shifted to a second camera, with the two pandas now seeking refuge from what appeared to be fairly tepid sunlight. In short order, another giant panda lay prone by a burbling stream, in the thrall of what appeared to be another pleasant nap.
The Chengdu base is home to more than 80 freely roaming giant pandas, so it’s unclear whether the subjects are different bears or the same few viewed from various angles.
A few minutes later, the panda by the stream changed his snoozing posture slightly. It’s a small maneuver, but rendered suddenly dramatic by the enervating lull of the video feed and the sheer celebrity of the monochromatic bear. So it comes as no surprise that the clips have already attracted nearly 15,000 viewers since their launch on June 24, Xinhua said.
“I’ve watched an entire morning of pandas eating bamboo, my appetite has improved!” a blogger called Janice Yi wrote on China’s Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo. “They eat, then they fight, and when they’re tired of fighting, they eat again, then they sleep, and a whole day passes.””
via China to Launch 24-Hour Live Web Broadcast of Pandas at Chengdu Research Base – China Real Time Report – WSJ.