Other Fun Panda Bear Facts
Giant Panda Bears are incredibly interesting animals. They are so rare and respected.
One thing about Panda Bears that give them the "Cat-foot" name is because their eyes are slits like cat eyes. Instead of having round pupils like other bears do, they have slits as pupils. This adaptation allows them to have good night vision. This benefits them because they are always foraging for food, even at night.
Photo: Rachael Barger
Why are Panda Bears Black and White?
A very common question is why do Giant Pandas have black and white fur. It is proven that in the hills of China, and snowy rock peaks they do blend in. It is a sort of camouflage. The colors also signify to other Pandas to stay away. This allows them all to have their own territory, and they don't have to deal with many intruders of their same species.
Pandas in Captivity
Giant Pandas were first exported to a zoo in 1937. Since then it has been obvious that holding Giant Pandas in captivity has allowed researchers to better understand them, and help them survive.
In captivity Giant Pandas live longer than Pandas in the wild. Most every Panda that is born in captivity never leaves captivity. It proves too much of a danger to bring them into an unfamiliar, unsafe environment.
The most recent addition to captive Giant Pandas was Su Lin. She was born on August 2nd, 2005. She is the third Giant Panda to be born at the San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California.
The San Diego Zoo has a great Panda Bear Exhibit. Here is a link to the "Panda Cam" that records the Pandas in the zoo exhibit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Panda Cam
Conservation and Respect
Ever since 1957, efforts to protect the Giant Panda have proven successful. Chinese government has instituted rules about the Pandas and created a policy to leave them alone, and no killing. Unbelievably, Giant Pandas were killed for their hides in early 1900's. This is part of the reasons that the Chinese government has stepped in and stopped this horrible hunt.
Chinese citizens respect the Giant Panda more than anyone else on this planet. No one would ever think about killing it now, and they all have a very high respect for the animal. The Panda Bear image isn't allowed on any Chinese media. They are not allowed in cartoons (even if portrayed well), movies, newspapers, comics, or books. The Chinese realize what they have is special, and they are doing everything they can to keep it in high respect and conserve it.
Increasing Giant Panda Population
Giant Pandas were close to extinction about 40 years ago, and ever since then China and other nations have been trying to increase population numbers. They 'rent' Giant Pandas to zoos all around the world (for the hefty price of about one million dollars per Panda) to increase breeding, and population numbers.
A very important landmark happened about one year ago. On April 28th, 2006, the Chinese government released a male Giant Panda named Xiang Xiang into the wild. Xiang Xiang was four at the time. He was born and bred in captivity since birth. This was a very important step because it could be the start of increasing Pandas numbers.
Xiang Xiang was expected to run into difficulties while being in the wild for his first year, so they put a computer chip inside of him to keep track. Xiang Xiang is at the age where he is sexually mature and he has been doing fine ever since.
The Giant Panda population numbers are about 1,600 in the wild and 180 in captivity.