Meet China’s Own Teddy Bear: the Giant Panda!

Have you ever had a teddy bear and wished it were alive? Then, meet the Giant Panda! Lucky for me, I met one when I was visiting the Beijing Zoo. Join me as I tell you about it!

What does this creature or plant look like?

Many animals live in China. For example, the snub nosed monkey, the leopard cat, and even the South Chinese tiger! But, there is one animal that only lives in China, and nowhere else in the world! It is also loved by everyone around the world. It is…the Giant Panda! It is black and white. It has thick black fur around its eyes, over the ears, legs, arms, and shoulders. The rest of the body is white. It also has very strong teeth that it needs to eat bamboo. Giant pandas love to eat bamboo! Did you also know that Pandas can walk on their toes like humans?! It is very interesting, right?

How did you feel when you saw it?

Giant Pandas usually live in forests in the southern provinces of China like Sichuan, Shangxi (pronounced Shang shi), and Gansu. However, thankfully, there are some pandas in the zoo too! So I saw a few Giant Pandas when I was at the Beijing Zoo! There is a special section in the zoo where they live. I was very excited to see one, because I had never been near one. When I first entered the zoo, the Giant Pandas were sleeping! It was a very hot day so I imagine they were too tired to stand up. However, I was still very happy to be near one. It felt like I was a little kid again. I had always wanted to see a Giant Panda, because it looks just like a bear my parents gave me as a birthday gift when I was five. It was also very funny to see the Giant Pandas turn around and go on their belly. And then fall back to sleep.

Where does it live?

Panda restingToday many of the Giant pandas live in six forest areas in the southern provinces of China. Do you remember the southern provinces? They are…Sichuan, Shanxi, and Gansu province. Pandas like living in high mountainous areas, because bamboo grows in these natural forest areas! Other than these places, some Giant Pandas live in zoos all over China like Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. When you visit China, try to visit a zoo so you too can see a Giant Panda!

How does it use its environment to survive?

Giant Pandas like to eat stems and leaves of the bamboo. They also eat flowers, vines, mushrooms and grass. That is why forests are the best environment for these animals. In the forests, they have lots of food to eat. Pandas actually eat a lot! They eat anywhere from 30 to 60 pounds of food per day. They also eat for a long time: 10 to 16 hours everyday! This might explains why they are round and chubby.

What can harm this creature? Are we worried about it?

Humans can harm this animal! Today, there are only 1,000 Giant Pandas in the world. It is the second most threatened species in the world. Humans have destroyed the pandas’ habitats by damaging the forests. Humans have torn down the trees and built roads instead. As humans destroy the forest, there are less and less bamboos for the pandas to eat! I am very worried that there won’t be any giant pandas left in the future! This is called extinction! This is why it is important to protect the pandas so they do not become extinct. I want Giant Pandas to keep on living forever, don’t you too?!

Erik outside of the Zoo

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