This study explores the effects of visitor observation of giant panda play on visitor concern for endangered species and satisfaction with seeing giant pandas. A total of 335 visitors to three institutions that house giant pandas participated in the study. These institutions are: the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, and the Chengdu Zoo, in China; and Zoo Atlanta in the U.S. After viewing the giant pandas, visitors were interviewed on whether they ever observed a panda play session, whether they observed panda play on the day of the visit, whether they wanted additional information on panda protection, and how satisfied they were with their visit to the pandas. An informational flyer was given to each interested survey participant after the interview. Visitors did not differ in their request for conservation information according to whether they had ever seen pandas play. However, visitors who observed panda play on the day of their visit expressed greater satisfaction with their visit. Implications for zoos and their conservation efforts are discussed.
Bexell, S. M., Jarrett, O. S., Lan, L., Yan, H., Sandhaus, E. A., Zhihe, Z., & Maple, T. L. (2007). Observing Panda play: implications for Zoo programming and conservation efforts. Curator: The Museum Journal, 50(3), 287-297.