From left to right: David Algranti from France, Yumiko Kajiwara from Japan, Ashley Robertson from the United States, Huang Xi from the Chinese mainland, Ali Shakonrian from Sweden and Wang Yu-wen from Taiwan
After several rounds of competition, the Pambassadors have finally been named . In what we think may be the best job opportunity in the world, these winning hardcore panda-lovers will stay at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding for one month in Chengdu as part of a project seeking to help the endangered species in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature.
But it’s not like these guys were handed the job on a platter. Competition was grueling. They were selected out of 61,615 international candidates and the twelve finalists had four hours of tryouts on Wednesday afternoon in which they identified eight different types of bamboo and were quizzed on the color of panda milk. (Green, actually, it only turns white a week later. Didn’t know that? Neither did most of the employees working at the research center…but the Pambassadors knew.)
At the base, they’ll serve as (take a deep breath) panda keeper, photographer, videographer, journalist, scientist and researcher. They’ll also devote some time to trekking into the mountains around Chengdu to study the animals in their natural habitat. Work for them starts next Monday and the Pambassadors will be keeping a blog to document their fuzzy adventures.