Facts About Pandas

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  • Pandas have been a symbol of peace in China. For example, hundreds of years ago, warring tribes in China would raise a flag with a picture of a panda on it to stop a battle or call a truce.
  • Pandas can stand upright, but their short hind legs aren’t strong enough to support their bodies. A panda’s bones are twice as heavy as the bones of other animals the same size.
  • Young pandas stay with the mothers for as long as three years, which means that a wild panda may raise only three or four cubs in a lifetime.
  • The life span of giant pandas in the wild is approximately 20 years. Captive pandas may live to be 25-30 years old.
  • Pandas eat bamboo. Since giant pandas have the digestive system of a carnivore, they do not have the ability to digest cellulose (plant matter) efficiently and thus derive little energy and little protein from consumption of bamboo.
  • Giant pandas are on the brink of extinction, with just over 1,000 pandas left in the world.
  • A giant panda’s fur looks silky and soft, it is quite thick and wiry. The hair of an adult giant panda can grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) long.
  • Giant pandas are only about the size of a stick of butter at birth, and they’re hairless and helpless.
  • The panda mother gives great care to her tiny cub, usually cradling it in one paw and holding it close to her chest. For several days after birth, the mother does not leave the den, not even to eat or drink.
  • More than half of newborn pandas die from diseases or from being accidentally crushed by their mothers.

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