The giant panda is a bear native to the bamboo forests of south central China. It is easily recognized by the distinctive patches found around its eyes, over its ears, and across its body; the rest of its coat is white. The giant panda primarily spends its time in the forests of the Qinling Mountains and the Sichuan Province. Their diet consists almost entirely of bamboo; they must eat anywhere in between 26 to 84 pounds of it each day to survive. They are primarily solitary animals; each adult has a defined territory, and females are not tolerant of other females in their range. As a result of deforestation, farming, and other development, the giant panda has been driven out of the lowlands where it once lived.
DID YOU KNOW?
- As of 2015, there are now only 1,826 pandas left in the wild.
- The scientific name of the giant panda is ailuropoda melanoleuca.
- A newborn panda is roughly the same size as a stick of butter, or 1/900th the size of its mother- but can grow to be up to 330 pounds!
- Adult pandas can grow to be up to four feet in height.