Exploring the life cycle of Panda Bears
There have been many fine articles on the Internet concerning the Panda. This is not one of them. It is purely an "everything I know about panda bears" written down for the benefit of any one who cares to read it. I first became interested in panda bears around breakfast time this morning when I realised what an important impact they were having in the realm of Search Engine Optimisation and Page Ranking. I am struggling to attune my research to these niches, but here I go!
Where they live
Modern day Panda Bears are a rarity. So rare that hunting of them is banned by the Chinese government and they are rarely allowed to go and live abroad. They live in the Himalayas guarded by soldiers from the Chinese Government. They are a naturally private animal and that, with the added high level security means that studies of the habits of the Panda have only been done on those in captivity.
They like to live somewhere cold and damp with lots of high bamboo which they can use as food but also as cover from predators. Estimates suggest that there are anywhere between 1500 and 2000 bears alive in the wild, which is mainly those counted on the 14 Chinese nature reserves near the Tibetan border.
Pandas do have babies, twins and triplets are common in the wild. (NB no one has ever done a study on them to my knowledge so that could be a bit of guesswork). The problem with breeding in captivity is that the Panda likes to now their partner as a person, rather than just as an object of desire. The mating season is only between March and May so the Panda's have to spend some time alone together getting to know each other.
A major attempt at starting a panda family in a Zoo was the attempted mating of the English Panda, Chi, Chi and the Russian An An. Things did not go well. Despite two attempts the sparkle and the chemistry was not right between the two and the zoo management were denied their cubs.
The Panda in the Wild
Newly born Panda Bears are small, and as many mothers have two bear cubs she will usually only care for the strongest, leaving the other to die. This is mainly because of the huge amount of food she has to eat and find for the baby to progress. There is a high mortality rate amongst Panda Bear cubs in the wild and this is one reason, allied with the deforestation of their traditional breeding grounds, that the panda population is so vulnerable.
Panda Bears are big, a large adult weights about 130 kilo. They are pretty nimble for their size and can climb trees to avoid danger or maybe just a cat nap.
Panda's eat alot. Most of us think Bamboo shoots and green vegetation is all they eat. They need some protein and do eat small animals such as birds or rodents that cross their path. The Panda Bear can spend most of the day eating Bamboo as it needs to eat about 14kg of bamboo every day.
Here you are folks! You now know about the panda. In fact, you know everything I know which is not much.