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China's National Animal - Panda Bear
Giant Panda Bear
The giant panda is the white and black bear that live in temperate-zone bamboo forests in central China. The animal is featured by bear-like figure, round and big head, demarcated white and black fur, extremely short tail, plump body and stumbled motion. Its size is about the size of an American bear, these animals stand (on all four legs) between two and three feet tall at the shoulder and the males are larger than the females.
Species: A. melanoleuca
Panda - Endangered Species
Being one of the most popular and rarest animals in the world, these lovely animals are listed as endangered species. There are around 1,000 left in the wild. Wild pandas live in six small areas in Gansu, Sichun and Shaanxi provinces of China. China has about 239 giant pandas in captivity, another 27 pandas outside the country and estimated around 1,590 pandas are currently living in the wild. It is still unknown how long giant pandas live in the wild, but they believe it is shorter than lifespans in zoos. Scientists have reported zoo pandas as old as 35.
Panda eating bamboo
Characteristics and Diet
All pandas are good climbers and swimmers, they love trees as well as water. In zoo, giant pandas eat bamboo (their favorite food), rice gruel, sugar cane, carrots, apples, a special high-fiber biscuit and sweet potatoes. Many zoo visitors like to see the way panda eats, it usually eats whiIe sitting upright, in a pose that resembles how human sits on the floor. The tough, fibrous bamboo can be easily crushed with panda’s powerful jaws and strong teeth. The giant pandas get much of the water from bamboo (which is half water), new bamboo shoots are also 90% water. But these pandas need more water than what bamboo alone can provide, that is why they also drink fresh water from streams and rivers almost everyday.
Panda cubs playing
Little panda bear
Panda climbing tree
Giant Pandas Reproduction
Female giant panda gives birth between 95 – 160 days after mating. The female panda may give birth to two young but usually only one of them will survive. The cub may stay with its mother for around 3 years before striking out on its own. in her lifetime, the female panda may only raise about five to eight cubs. The newborn cubs are about the size of a stick of butter and weighs 3 – 5 ounces. These cubs are 1/900th the size of their mother and they are hairless, pink in color and are blind. The panda’s cub will start to open its eyes after 6 – 8 weeks and may nurse for 8 – 9 months.
- Panda in Chinese Culture
How important the giant panda to the Chinese people
- Giant Panda Bear
More interesting facts about giant panda
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Symbolism and Meaning
Enjoying the fame of “National Treasure” these pandas are under national protection. To this day, panda is a symbol of peace and friendship. Emperor Wuzetian in the Tang dynasty presented a pair of living pandas and 70 pieces of fur of the animal to Japanese Temmu as a national gift in 658 AD. China presented 23 giant pandas to nine countries – Mexico, Spain, Federal Germany, Britain, France, Japan, United States, North Korea and Soviet Union during the period between 1957 and 1982. The giant panda also appeared as the mascot in Beijing Asian Games 1990, it then became a household image in China. One of the Fuwas (Fuwa Jingjing) in the mascot of Beijing 2008 Olympics Games is also a giant panda.