He knows no fear!

My trip to Tenerife, Spain in 2012 – part 2

Today I was going to go to the forests of Tenerife to look for rare and endangered wild animals.

Whilst I was in a bar last night, I was chatting to a few of the locals who told me of a rumor that “Giant Pandas” are native to Tenerife. Despite the rumors no video or photographic evidence had been produced showing the Tenerife Giant Pandas and all witnesses to the Pandas had been ridiculed as barking mad people. However, the latest edition of the “Tenerife Weekly” English speaking newspaper had a feature story on the evidence of fossils findings of Giant Pandas. The scientists had proof that Giant Pandas were in Tenerife 11.6 million years ago.

http://www.tenerife-weekly.com/giant-pandas-fossils-in-spain

An artist impression of the Tenerife Giant Panda from 11.6 million years ago.

An artist impression of the Tenerife Giant Panda from 11.6 million years ago.

Now you may think that Giant Pandas come from China, but I was determined to be the first to photograph the Giant Pandas of Tenerife and to prove that Giant Pandas are still alive in the forests of Tenerife.

With my expert guide Mr. E the expert naturalist, I set about making my discovery. Mr. E’s daughter claims to had seen the Tenerife Giant Pandas herself, but noone believes her… she is only 2!

I was heading to the mountains of the Macizo de Anaga range in the northeastern part of the island of Tenerife.

A map of Tenerife with a circle highlighting the Macizo de Anaga range.

A map of Tenerife with a circle highlighting the Macizo de Anaga range.

The mountain range with its altitude and the passage of the tradewinds is converted into a specially humid zone, which favors the existence of special diversity for the natural habitats, including the laurisilva trees. The forests on these mountains are a unique feature of this part of Tenerife which is generally dry. It was these forests I was going to be exploring today.

I drove up the TF-123 road and was climbing high into the mountains. It was cooler here up in the mountains. I was heading for the car park at a bunkhouse lodge called the Montes de Anaga Hostel.

http://www.alberguestenerife.net

Me driving into the car park at the lodge.

Me driving into the car park at the lodge.

The views from the lodge were great.

From the lodge I could see for miles around.

From the lodge I could see for miles around.

I could see all the way down to the coast.

The view from Anaga Natural Park.

The view from Anaga Natural Park.

From here on, we were to travel on foot through thick forests. Were we going to see the Tenerife Giant Panda?

The trek though the thick forest was hard going.

The trek though the thick forest was hard going.

We trekked for several hours, whilst our guide Mr E. used all his tracking skills to track down the Pandas.

It was hard going.

It was hard going.

We were using our ears and eyes to look for the Pandas.

The park has favoring plant and animal diversity, with more than 120 endemic species, some very rare and threatened.

The park has favoring plant and animal diversity, with more than 120 endemic species, some very rare and threatened.

Suddenly, our guide Mr. E trod on some Panda poo and his shoes began to stink of Panda’s crap. We knew that we were close to the Pandas.

We then heard it.

The rustles of leaves moving.

It was something big….

Very big….

Then….

Through the vegetation we saw it!

THE TENERIFE GIANT PANDA!

Was this the Tenerife Giant Panda?

Was this the Tenerife Giant Panda?

We saw it!

We saw the head through the leaves.

We saw the head through the leaves.

I saw it and I managed to take three photographs.

The Panda ran off into the thick forest.

The Panda ran off into the thick forest.

The Panda ran off into the thick forest but I already had the photographs.

Mr E. our guide was going to submit our photographs to the University of Madrid tomorrow.

To be continued….

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