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China advertises job for 'panda nanny' at research centre

Can you look after this bunch for £19,000 a year?

The Giant Panda Protection and Research Centre in China's Sichuan province has advertised a job opening for a ‘panda caretaker’ capable of sharing in the animal’s “joys and sorrows”, who can expect to earn a salary of £19,000 a year (200,000 yuan).

Recruitment began on Saturday for the position of the "Chinese version of a caretaker of an island on the Great Barrier Reef", according to China Daily.

The ideal candidate should be at least 22 years old “and have some basic knowledge of pandas”. The successful applicant will receive free meals and accommodation and be given the use of an SUV. 

"Your work has only one mission: spending 365 days with the pandas and sharing in their joys and sorrows," the advert states.

"Many people at our centre do the same job, but the salary was never that high," Heng Yi, a publicity official explained. "But we want more people to pay attention to giant pandas' protection work and participate."

Volunteers at the conservation centre account for 80 per cent of staff and most hail from the US, Europe and Japan.

While the position may seem like the ideal job, recruiters are warning it could prove more challenging than it seems.

Ye Mingxin, one of the organisers behind the campaign, said: "You need perseverance for this job. We expect that the applicants will be mainly white-collar workers from big cities.

"They are used to eating whatever they want, but inside the giant panda base, the choices will not be plentiful."

Recruiting drives are being held in Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou and the centre is accepting applications until 15 July.