THE GIANT PANDA: THE TEDDY BEAR OF OUR WILDLIFE

THE PANDA BEARS -THE NATIONAL TREASURE OF CHINA

 

They are adorable and beloved all over the world, with their authentic look, black and white coat. The Chinese are in love with pandas and consider them as the national treasure number one and the main mascot. Beside it, the logo of WWF since the founding in 1961 is actually the panda bear.

Those lovely bears with their original appearance are known to be residents of the hick bamboo forests in the mountains of central and southwest  China.  Their diet is based on consumption of bamboo and they must eat around 26-84 pounds of it every day. When they are born, the little pandas are size of a stick of butter  but later, the females reach about 200 pounds while males come to almost 300 pounds.

Ailuropoda melanoleuca is their scientific name and it literally means black and white cat foot. According to the science, they are solitary animals that meet only during the breeding season but some advanced research suggest that occasionally males and females meet each others and communicate through the special code of scents and vocals. They are very shy and they avoid to be there where humans are active. It is very rare to go into the wilderness and manage to see the Giant pandas. Somehow, they are hidden in the deep forest, trying to digest the bamboo and eat fast, as it it the needed part of their daily metabolism.

It is interesting that pandas unlike other bears, do not hibernate but rather move to the lower mountain areas, keeping with their eating habits.  The pandas nowadays are still vulnerable if not endangered species but the global efforts help the sustainability and possibility to protect pandas role in our ecosystem. If we keep them safe, we keep also other animals, around them, safe and unbothered, like multicoloured pheasants, the golden monkey or crested ibis.  The Chinese authorities, at lest, work hard on this matter to implement the regulation for Giant panda protection. After so many years of declining, they are spotted to be slowly on the rise but this must be permanent trend in the future and not the current magnitude in eco policy.  The main problem with their reproduction was the loss of natural habitat due to the industrial development and deforestation. This applies especially on China´s Yangtze Basin region because it ruin the bamboo forests resources and prevent panda breeding actions. Nevertheless, the Chinese governments have founded more than 50 panda reserves where more than 67% of complete panda population live. The Wildlife Protection Act (1988) included ban poaching and helped efforts of wildlife activists to track and detect poachers and also to put them under legal prosecution.

The cute bears in black and white coats can climb the trees from  7 months old and also they can swim. With the cuteness overloaded, it doesn’t surprise that those Chinese giant bears have fans worldwide. The people are  in love with pandas because they see them as giant teddy bears that are only for cuddling and enjoying.  That is true but pandas are simply adorable with their big baby eyes and tranquility. The theories about pandas and their behaviour are different and it seems that zoologists still learn about them but I found one exciting information from the book “The Giant Panda, signed by David Taylor:””Pandas are said to have a predilection for copper and iron. They really seem to enjoy licking every scrap of food from their metal bowls, even turning the bowl in their two dexterous paws. An ancient reputation as a licker and eater of copper and iron came from a liking for dishes or cooking pots in dwellings of Chinese peasants.”

Somewhere, I read that the pandas are very kind animal and cohabitants. When they find other animals in their area, they do not chase them but rather share food and space, in spite they are pretty much territorial animals.  The tree has a specific role in the life of the pandas because it is related to all crucial matters. They propose to their partners on the trees, run away from danger or simply enjoy their meal and rest, hidden in the woods.

Personally, I have always thought that the panda families live together, but it is the opposite. They are loners and each of them is happy with having its own range, free from the presence of other pandas. The only moment when the unity is possible is when once in year is a mating  time ( March to May) when males accept the females but after the breeding, the females take care of the cubs alone. So, there in no real community, as we know from some other animals.  Our teddy bears prefer loneliness and their freedom and do not sacrifice over the the priority of family.

The Giant pandas have docile temperament and they avoid any conflict with humans or other residents of the region they live. They would rather hide then attack but they would risk all to protect their cubs. Once they get a baby, they are ready to do all possible and impossible to save their offspring and to bring it into shelter. When female panda gets two cubs, she choose one to bring with and to take care of it, while the another one is abounded. The reason is lack of capacity and resources for keeping them both safe. Usually, the female gets one baby after the period of pregnancy that could be between 83 and 200 days.

To be able to mark their own territory, the pandas usually leaves their glandular secretions on tree stumps, walls and grounds of their area. That is how the place is booked for one panda and sign for another one, to move on, searching the free zone. Sometimes, they use urine also as a marking way.

The giant pandas are a real beauty of our colourful wildlife. They are calm, sweet but also majestic in their biodiversity position. We are still learning about them and trying to find a way of successful increasing of their number in the wilderness. They are not only the pure wildlife jewel of China but the global treasure we all need to cherish.

 

 

One thought on “THE GIANT PANDA: THE TEDDY BEAR OF OUR WILDLIFE

  1. Sarah’s delightful article brought to mind various aspects of the giant pandas…

    For example, the Chinese appellation ‘大 熊 貓’ (dàxióngmāo) means ‘giant bear cat’. The Anglacised name of ‘panda’ derives from the Nepalese ‘poonya’, which referred to the native red panda of Nepal. In the 1800s, Europeans in China and Nepal applied this word to all pandas.

    The giant panda species first emerged c. 2.5 million years ago and lived in areas of Eastern Asia, but its diet was very mixed, initially (e.g. carnivorous and omnivorous). Due to competition and predatory threats, pandas began to isolate themselves in dense bamboo forests for safety, but their already-developed digestive systems required vast amounts of bamboo for nutrients, etc.

    Bamboo first appeared on Earth around 40 million years ago and evolved into various species. The pandas only began to consume bamboo about 7,000 years ago, and they now focus on around 20 different species of bamboo in the native forests of China. Though, they do supplement this diet with vines, grass, certain flowers and tree nectars.

    Like

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About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !