The pandas name means “black and white cat-foot.” This comes from their distinctive black and white coloring. Pandas have black ears, eyes, and legs, with white heads and bodies. They are referred to as giant pandas to separate them from red pandas. Giant pandas, unlike red pandas, are bears.
In the wild, pandas eat 99% bamboo. They will occasionally eat birds or rodents, or other types of grasses. In captivity, however, they receive eggs, honey, fish, yams, oranges, bananas, and specially prepared foods, as well as their favorite bamboo.
Giant pandas are endangered, with only about 2,000 remaining in the wild. Only about 300 pandas are currently living in captivity, making their worldwide population dangerously low.
4. Where do they live?
Pandas are native to China. They typically live in mountain ranges in central China. They used to live in lower land, but because of deforestation they have had to move to the mountains. This is part of why the population is so low. Those in captivity are also mainly located in China, however there are a few spread out through the world.
5. Life span
In the wild pandas are believed to live about 20 years. In captivity this can be extended to an average of 30 years. The oldest known panda is Ming Ming, who was 34 years old. Ming Ming was a captive panda.
6. Life style of the Panda
The panda spends most of its time roaming and eating. They are solitary creatures and do not tolerate other pandas in their territory. They do not make permanent dens, but remain on the move. They also do not hibernate like most bears. Instead they seek warmer shelter during the cold months.
7. Raising Young
Male and female pandas only meet for mating season, after which the male leaves the female to raise the cub. Female panda birth live cubs. The cubs are born blind, toothless, and defenseless. The mother must care for the baby much like human mothers care for babies. The cub stays with the mother for 1.5-2 years. A mother typically has one cub every 2 years.
When standing on all 4 legs, pandas are about 2-3 feet tall. They are about the same size as black bears. Males get larger than females, reaching about 250 pounds. Females typically weigh 220 pounds or less.
9. Water intake
A panda does not drink much water. They get most of the water they need from the bamboo they eat, which is about 90% water. They do need more than the bamboo can provide, so almost every day they must also drink from a river or stream. However, without the water the bamboo provides, the panda would never be able to leave the stream because it would need so much water.
Pandas are often thought of as being cuddly and harmless. They are, however, bears, with all the teeth and claws that come with other types of bears. They have been known to attack humans, although it is thought to be out of annoyance than malice. One should still exercise extreme caution around pandas. They are large dangerous animals.
Learn more with these Giant Pandas websites.