When we think of giant pandas, we think of lovely black and white bears. They are cute and have many fans all over the world. The giant panda is one of the cutest animals in the world with two large, black patches around its eyes, and its round face and chubby body.
The giant panda（Chinese: dà xióng māo）also known as panda bear or simply panda, is a bear native to south central China.
Giant panda looks cuddly and cute when you search for photos on the internet. But it's much bigger than you think. It can be 1.2 - 1.8 meters in body length and 75 - 135 kg in weight and even weigh to 180 kg. Baby pandas are born pink and measure about 15cm – that’s about the size of a pencil! They are also born blind and only open their eyes six to eight weeks after birth.
Panda families don’t live together. They are solitary, each female having a well-defined range. Males generally live apart, except for in the short breeding season (March to May), when they compete for female attention. Females raise the cubs alone.
These magnificent mammals are omnivores. But whilst pandas will occasionally eat small animals and fish, bamboo counts for 99% of their diet. Pandas are BIG eaters – every day they fill their tummies for up to 12 hours, shifting up to 12 kilograms of bamboo!
The lifespan of pandas in the wild is between 18 to 20 years old, but can be over 30 in captivity. The giant panda has been living on earth for at least two million years and is known as the "living fossil" and the "national treasure of China". The panda diplomacy has made an indelible contribution to the development of foreign friendly relations. It is also the image ambassador of World Wildlife Fund. A 2013 report stated that the wild giant panda population had increased to 1,864 by the end of 2013. By the end of 2015, there were 422 captive panda populations in China.
Giant pandas can't stand and do kung fu moves like Po in Kungfu Panda. But they are good tree climbers. They can climb trees from 7 months old. Giant pandas are bears, and like other bears, they can swim.
Unlike most other bears, pandas do not hibernate. When winter approaches, they head lower down their mountain homes to warmer temperatures, where they continue to chomp away on bamboo. One reason is that they mostly eat bamboo which doesn't make them fat enough.
The giant panda is a unique species of China, and its main existing habitats are Sichuan, Shaanxi and the mountains of Gansu.