Giant Panda - Snells Beach School

Giant Panda
An Endangered specie
Facts about Giant Pandas
High in dense bamboo forests in the misty, rainy mountains of
southwestern China lives one of the world's rarest mammals: the
giant panda, also called the panda. Only about 1,000 of these
black-and-white relatives of bears survive in the wild.
Pandas eat almost nothing but bamboo shoots and leaves.
Occasionally they eat other vegetation, fish, or small animals, but
bamboo accounts for 99 percent of their diets. Pandas eat fast,
they eat a lot, and they spend about 12 hours a day doing it. The
reason: They digest only about a fifth of what they eat. Overall,
bamboo is not very nutritious. To stay healthy, they have to eat a
lot—up to 15 percent of their body weight in 12 hours—so they
eat fast.
Pandas' molars are very broad and flat. The shape of these teeth
helps the animals crush the bamboo shoots, leaves, and stems
they eat. To get the bamboo to their mouths, they hold the stems
with their front paws, which have enlarged wrist bones that act
as thumbs for gripping. Giant panda’s are endangered because
Chinese are cutting down bamboo forests.
The giant panda is a very unique looking bear that everyone recognizes. Who can resist that
cute, cuddly looking animal with its big black eyes? But remember, the Giant Panda is still a
bear, which means that they can be dangerous or aggressive when they need to be. Pandas
are very fast on foot and kind of lumber, or trot, along. They are really good climbers and can
swim to escape danger. Pandas are very shy and because of their markings they are difficult
to see in the forest.
There is only one sub-species of panda, and it is found only in China. The black and white bear
is considered endangered. There are only about 1000 giant pandas left in the wild. Its habitat
is continually shrinking because of the growing Chinese population spreading into the
forested areas and cutting down trees (especially bamboo trees) for more farmland. The
giant panda is also hunted for it’s beautiful fur. Pandas main food source is bamboo. This
stumps scientists since bamboo is not high in nutrients and is not easily digested by the bear.
That means that the panda has to eat an awful lot of it to get the nutrition it needs to live.
Pandas will eat 50 – 60 pounds of bamboo a day, so obviously they spend most of their day
eating! They will eat meat, berries, flowers, grass and nuts if necessary. The pandas front
paws have adapted to its love of bamboo, too. Along with its five 'fingers', the panda has
grown a ‘thumb’. Part of the wrist bone has developed into a thumb that faces opposite to
the rest of the fingers. This allows the panda to hold onto bamboo more tightly. By the end
of 2006, there was reported 180 panda’s and about 20 in other countries.
More facts about giant panda’s
The giant panda, a black-and-white bear,
has a body typical of bears. It has black fur
on ears, eye patches, muzzle, legs, and
shoulders. The rest of the animal's coat is
white. The panda's thick, woolly coat
keeps it warm in the cool forests of its
habitat. Giant pandas have large molar
teeth and strong jaw muscles for crushing
tough bamboo. Many people t panda is
native to China.
It has a black and white coat that features
large black patches around its eyes.
Pandas are an endangered species.
Population estimates vary but there may be
around 2000 left living in the wild.
High in dense bamboo forests in the misty,
rainy mountains of southwestern China lives
one of the world's rarest mammals: the giant
panda, also called the panda. Only about
1,000 of these black-and-white relatives of
bears survive in the wild. Giant pandas can
eat up to about ten times their weight in 12 hundred years ago, giant pandas
were plentiful in the wild. They roamed freely
in many parts of Asia including china. But in
the past fifty years, panda’s have been
steadily disappearing. An increasing human
population is now the biggest cause of their
disappearance. China now has a population
of more than 1 billion people.
These people need homes and farms to grow food and raise livestock these homes, roads
and farms now exist on what was once panda territory. Other human activities, such as
poaching, are linked to panda extinction. Poaching is the illegal killing of animals.
Poachers kill animals such as panda’s, tigers, and elephants because people buy the
animals body parts for large sums of money. With it’s cuddly appearance and peaceful
nature, the giant panda is one of the worlds best loved animals. Today, the panda is the
international symbol of the wild life conservation. Even with all it’s recognition the panda
still needs our help to prevent extinxon. New laws, education, conservation techniques,
and sanctuaries are leading the way. High in the mountains of china’s Sichuan province, a
giant panda sits in a vast thicket of bamboo. In one paw, he holds a long stick of bamboo.
Using the other, he rips off the bamboo leaves. If there is not enough bamboo, the panda
eats other things; such as irises or clover. A panda spends much of it’s time eating. It will
take the panda most of the day to eat until it is full.
Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other A 2007 report shows 239 pandas living
grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the
in captivity inside China and another 27
form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity, outside the country.
they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams,
shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with
specially prepared food.
Conservation efforts and breeding programs
are currently in place to restore panda
populations to their native habitat in the
mountain forests of southwest China.

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