Giant Panda - continuing story of endangered panda bears in the wild.
Giant Panda bears in the wild
Giant panda is one of the rarest animals in the world and is regarded as the treasure of China.
Although historically the dragon is considered as a national symbol of China, recently giant panda is making its way into the pantheon of national symbols.
But if dragon gained its position due to the strength and power, giant panda bears are achieving this place due to their charming appearance, lovely gestures and movements.
You simply cannot stay indifferent in the presence of giant pandas, you cannot stop loving them.
Unfortunately giant panda bears are quickly disappearing from the wild mostly as a result of human activity depriving them from access to food. And panda's low fertility is not helping sustaining their population in the nature.
It is estimated that some 1500 to 3000 giant pandas live in the wild and slightly above 200 in Zoo’s and breeding centers. That clearly puts giant pandas on the list of endangered species.
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These are last moments in the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. To be honest I do not know what these elephants were doing there, but they were so cute that I decided to share them with you on this photo.
On the right: Flowers' decorations make this place even more "heavenly"....
Plan of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
Giant pandas largely rely on the sense of smell. Their scent seems to be as unique as the fingertips are unique for humans. They use it to make a distinction of sex, age, to distinguish breeding conditions as well as recognize other information about an individual.
The ability of giant pandas to mark their individuality by scent is specifically visible during the breeding season when males are following the scent of a female and compete for her favors. Male pandas often try to intimidate and scare competing smaller pandas by a kind of “scent-marks” setting the “no-go-zone” for others. It can be done by spraying urine or leaving behind a secretion from their anal glands. During that time male giant pandas are becoming highly vocal barking and roaring not only to attract a female but also to warn others of their presence and territory.
The scent marking by females occurs shortly before the estrus period and indicates her readiness for mating.
Chonqing Giant Panda
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Upper photos and bottom on the right:
Liang Liang – male, was born in Chengdu Breeding Center in 2000 and transferred to Chongqing ZOO in January 2007.
Er Shun – male. His parents are Ya Ya and Liang Liang. He was born in Chongqing ZOO on August 10, 2007. He is Tuan Tuan’s half brother.
Bottom on the lef: Ya Ya – female was born in Chengdu Breeding Center in September 2000 and then transferred to Chongqing ZOO in April 2001.
In the wild, the Giant Pandas live in dense bamboo forests of the Qinling Mountains (Province of Sichuan) at altitudes between 2000 and 4000 meters.
Despite the fact that pandas belong to the bear family, unlike other bears, they do not establish permanent dens and do not hibernate.
The largely admired panda’s white fur with black patches and bands seems to be helping them in camouflaging their presence in a snowy and rocky environment.
Genetically, Giant Pandas are carnivorous animals. Despite that fact their diet consists almost entirely of bamboo leaves. That fact has the significant influence on their physical features and lifestyle habits.
Their digestive system is not able to efficiently derive proteins (and in general energy) from the consumption of bamboo (fiber). As a result the Giant Panda has to eat the large quantity of bamboo per day which anyhow has low nutritional value.
The limited available energy forces pandas to what we see as a “lazy behavior”, what may look funny at the first glance, but it is necessary for pandas’ survival. Two most distinctive features of pandas – a chubby body shape and its round face is exactly the result of adaptation to the poor diet.
The low coefficient of body surface area to body volume is indication of low metabolic rate. The round face is the result of strong and well developed jaw muscles and molar teeth necessary to crush and grind the bamboo’s fibers.
But frankly, exactly these physical features and colors are making these bears presented here by free giant panda pictures so lovely and charming.
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