These beautiful bears can be found in the zoos in Shanghai and Beijing, and in locations like the Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base in Chengdu, or in the Wolong Nature Reserve in the Sichuan Province. In the United States, pandas can be seen at the National Zoo and the San Diego Zoo. Visitors can see the bears eating, playing and sleeping.
Giant Pandas are big, like most bears, but they generally have thick white and black fur with a short tail. The bears have very good vision. They also have strong jaws and teeth so that they can chew tough foods such as bamboo shoots. Giant pandas have a special bones in their hand that works like an opposable thumb to help in holding their food.
The pandas are native to just about six small locations in China. They live in the high mountainous regions near the center and southwest of China, one of woods full of bamboo. The weather is mostly cloudy, rainy and misty through the year. The famous Chengdu Breeding Giant Panda Research is found on the mountain of Fu Tou. It is by far the favourite food of a giant panda. However, bamboo is extremely low in nutrition, meaning a giant pand will have to eat for 10 to 14 hours per day.
The bears are very shy and prefer to live independently. The females and males only see eachother about twice a year, in the late spring or early summer seasons to strain. A few months later, the female bear will usually give birth to only one or possibly two cubs in a den she has dug in the floor. Usually, only one of the bear cubswill live to adulthood. They are very small and helpless when they are born, and can’t see. The newborn pandas are pink with almost no fur on their bodies. The mother panda nurses her nurse for about six months. At about one year old, the panda cubs will be able to live on their own. Normally, a giant pandas can live to be between 17 and 20 years in the wild.
Only a little more than a hundred years ago there wer thousands of giant pandas in China, but their population has steadily declined due to the destruction of the forests to make way for new homes and businesses. Thankfully, pandas are protected by law and can’t be hunted. They are also able to live at safe places like the Wolong Nature Reserve.