CHENGDU, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Imagine standing amid hundreds of giant pandas - a cuteness overload that panda lovers can only dream of. Such a fantasy may soon come true.
With a new panda park expected to open next year, fans of the black and white furballs will no longer have to travel to southwest China to cuddle a panda; all they will need to do is put on a VR headset.
With the headset on, they can observe the daily lives of pandas -- watching them queuing to climb a tree, behaving like spoiled children asking for food, and even play games with them in the virtual world.
The "Hi, Panda" VR theme park, will open to the public in 2018 and plans to offer real-time zero-distance interactive experiences with the cute, clumsy animals.
The park is part of a strategic partnership signed Tuesday between the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center in Sichuan Province and Baofeng New Culture Company.
The center was home to 175 giant pandas as of 2016, welcoming four million visitors every year, 80 percent from outside Sichuan, including abroad.
"We aims to develop a VR/AR experience center that combines VR videos, live streaming, games, online courses and other spin offs to make giant pandas a super IP [Intellectual Property] in the world," said Zhang Zhihe, head of the center.
Panda fans can either visit the breeding center, where the park is located, or go online, to interact with the pandas.
Similar panda parks are also under discussion at zoos in six countries, including Germany and Spain, that rear giant pandas.