The Giant Panda Bear

Ailuropoda Melanoleuca: more commonly known as panda bear. Most people are used to seeing the panda in the zoo, but there are still some who roam the mountains of China. Along with this, you know the panda is black and white, eats bamboo, and is incredibly adorable. These majestic animals are much more than this, though. Find out what makes the panda bear so complex and lovable through these facts below.

 

baby giant panda bear

Panda Families

When the panda is born, it is hairless and only weighs a few ounces. Like us, the Momma bear must take extreme care of her baby. When born the panda is blind for up to two months. It cannot move for up to three months. Like humans, it nurses for essential nutrients for the first year of life and for comfort until the second year. After three years, the panda is considered mature and goes off to create raise her own cubs. There is not a lot known about the panda and their social lives since they don’t naturally live near humans. What is known is

  • The female panda reproduces slowly, having only five to eight cubs in her lifetime.
  • The female panda can only get pregnant three days (one period) per year.
  • It was thought males and females only met to breed, but we are slowly learning this is not true.

Panda Physicality

Every panda bear features the classic black and white pattern. Its belly and face are white, while the legs, arms, ears, and eyes are black. It is still unknown why the panda evolved with this coloring. The fur is extremely thick and coarse to keep the bear warm in their cooler climates. Though this bear is obviously adorable, it can stand up to six feet tall while weighing in at 250 pounds. With its large and strong teeth, the panda bear can actually be quite threatening.

 

Eating

Everyone knows the classic image of a panda with a bamboo twig in its mouth. This image has been captured so frequently because of the giant panda’s water and nutritional needs. In their natural habitat, the panda bear lives up in the mountains of china, surrounded by bamboo. It spends up to 16 hours a day collected and eating bamboo. Sixteen hours! It takes this long for the panda to collect the 20 or more pounds of bamboo it must consume every day. The bamboo not only offers general nutrition, but water as well. Between 50 – 90 percent of bamboo is actually water. Along with bamboo, pandas must also

  • Get fresh water each day
  • May eat small rodents
  • May eat other grasses

There is still a lot to learn about the panda bear. Most of what is known was learned by the panda bears raised in captivity and does not necessarily transfer to those in the wild. Along with their eating needs, it is known that the giant panda is endangered. There are approximately 1,600 pandas left in the world. The majority of these live in China and a third live in captivity. As long as we continue to be respectful of their space and needs, hopefully, the giant panda bear population will continue to slowly repopulate. Soon, we will be dressing the baby Pandas in diapers of their own. Not Bambamboos, though, because they might just try to snack on it!

 

You can help our friends at the WWF by donating to their panda reserve HERE!