BY: JESSICA BEUKER
Beer tasters, roller-coaster testers and the person who gets to come up with the names for ice cream flavours are likely near the top of the list of best—or at least most fun—jobs in the world. What’s at the very top? For many the answer would be panda caretaker.
Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. The job is essentially babysitting, but with furry, adorable baby bears instead of screaming, pooping humans. The best part, instead of the measly $5 an hour you used to rake in watching the neighbour’s kids, you will make $32,000 USD as a panda caretaker.
Along with a steady paycheque, caretakers at the China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center are also provided meals, board and the use of an SUV.
According to China Daily, “Your work has only one mission: spending 365 days with the pandas and sharing in their joys and sorrows.”
The position requires you to be 22 or older, have a basic knowledge of pandas, writing and photography skills.
Sadly, the giant panda population has been going down for years, with fewer than 1,900 of them left in the wild. The main reasons for this is habitat loss and restricted bamboo supply—both issues created and exacerbated by humans, which is why at the panda protection center in Ya’an, Sichuan, human influence is either limited— feeders will often perform routine checks dressed in panda costumes—or handled by compassionate caretakers who devote their lives to understanding and protecting this beautiful animal.