The giant Panda; a natural treasure in China

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Credit: clipartmax.com

The giant Panda is a national treasure in China and it enjoys great popularity worldwide. It is a representative of wildlife protection.

Why they are popular

Pandas have so many fans because they look cute. Also the looks of a teddy bear makes pandas popular. Pandas appeal to our “cuteness receptors” because they have large, front-facing eyes, and are extremely furry, so we therefore think of them as cuddly and cute.

According to report in World Wildlife Fund, WWF, a leading organization in wildlife conservation and endangered species, Pandas play a crucial role in China’s bamboo forests by spreading seeds and helping the vegetation to grow.

Tourism

There is high income from tourism. At the Panda center in Chengdu, the entrance fee was 58 yuan (US$8) which must have increased over the year. The panda has replaced the dragon as an emblem of China. The image appears on many coins and souvenirs.

The Chinese government owns nearly all the giant pandas on earth. And American zoos will shell out up to $1 million a year to rent just one. Most sign 10-year “panda diplomacy” contracts, and if any baby cubs are born, they pay an additional one-time $400,000 baby tax.

A bully is not a hero

Having existed on the earth for more than 8 million years, the Giant Panda is known as “the living fossil”. It is a symbol of friendship and an envoy of peace.

Giant Panda is no more endangered, but vulnerable

The giant panda was downgraded from “endangered” to “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in September 2016. An endangered species is a species that is very likely to become extinct in the near future, either worldwide or in a particular political jurisdiction. Endangered species may be at risk due to factors such as habitat loss, poaching and invasive species.

China, having aware of their decline since the 1960s, when the first panda reserves were established, according to the WWF, a combination of forest protection, reforestation, and strict laws against the killing of pandas was put in place which allowed the panda population to recover.

Credit: worldwildlife.org

According to a report in June of 2016, there were 1,864 giant pandas in the wild and 471 pandas in captivity, a total of 2,335. Compared with 2015, the number of wild giant pandas has increased by about 200. It is estimated that the wild giant panda numbers will increase to 2,200 in 2025.

Can you guess what colour the newborn pandas have?

The new-born pandas are pink! Pandas are born looking like baby badgers — fur-less, pink, and blind. The iconic black and white colour comes later, after about three weeks.

Giant pandas look like bears but they have a distinctive black and white appearance. Their four legs are covered in black fur and they have a black band around their shoulders as well as their eyes and ears. Not all giant pandas are black and white! A few are brown and white, but these are very rare.

Giant panda looks cuddly and cute

Guess what colour their tail is? It’s white!

Lifestyle

Giant pandas spend as long as 14 hours eating per day as the bamboo provides a low amount of calories so they get hungry very quickly.

When they are full, they will sleep for 2 to 4 hours. When they wake up again, they will look for more food.

Besides eating and sleeping, they also climb trees. Yes, a giant panda can climb trees! They climb trees to get away from danger, propose to partners, and evade stronger competitors.

Giant pandas eat bamboo roots, bamboo shoots, and bamboo leaves. Bamboo forms 99% of their daily diet. Captive giant pandas also eat “panda cake” that has been made from rice flour, soybean powder, corn flour, and egg. Wild pandas will also eat grasses, insects, mice, and even lambs found in surrounding villages.

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