1,600 Pandas Alive
December 30, 2011 by staff
1,600 Pandas Alive, The giant panda has been endeared to humanity for a long time. Chinese art depicting panda bears dates for thousands of years. The Western world discovered the panda when French missionaries brought back descriptions of them in the late 19th century, and the bears in captivity are some of the most popular attractions for zoo goers.
Giant panda bears in the wild can be found only in six small sections in the mountains of China. They once lived in the lowlands, but urban development has restricted them. Pandas live in the damp and misty coniferous forests, which contain a layer of bamboo beneath the main forest canopy.
Pandas survive mainly on bamboo, which is low in nutrients, requiring a panda to consume as much as 84 lbs. of it a day. Pandas spend 12 hours or more eating a day.
Scientists do not know what gives the giant panda its distinctive black and white coat. Some guess that it provides camouflage in the dappled surroundings of the forest.
There are only about 1,600 pandas alive. Along with urban development, low reproduction, bamboo shortages and accidental trappings also contribute to their dwindling numbers.
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