Happy National Panda Day! In honor of the occasion, here are some fun facts about pandas. The first fact is from John Krasinski, narrator of Disneynature’s “Born In China,” a film that will make you fall even more in love with pandas.
Here are more fun panda facts:
- Giant pandas are usually just called pandas. China is the only place in the world where giant pandas are found in the wild. They are found in the temperate forests of the Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces.
- One of the reasons they live there is that those forests get a lot of rain, which makes it easy for bamboo to grow. Pandas eat up to 40 pound of bamboo every day. And you think your kids eat a lot!
- Why are pandas black and white? One possible reason is that their coloring helps them spot each other, which makes mating season easier. Another possible reason is that it camouflages them in the trees.
- Pandas stand between 5’2″ and 6’2″ feet tall. In terms of weight, females range between 155-220 pounds, and males can weigh between 190-275 pounds.
- That makes it a little surprising that they start out as very, very tiny babies. Cubs weigh just three to five ounces at birth, meaning their mothers are about 900 times their size. They nurse until they are around eight months old.
- Offspring leave their mothers for good at around three years of age. The average female has five to eight cubs in her life time.
- Pandas live between 14 to 20 years when they are in the wild.
- Pandas do not hibernate, although they are giant bears. They do, however, sleep a lot day to day.
- Sound, including squeaks and goat-like noises, and scent are two ways pandas communicate with each other.
In a bit of good news, the International Union for Conservation on Nature found a 17 percent increase in the panda population between 2004 and 2014. It counted 1,864 giant pandas living in the wild in China. They are no longer considered endangered, but are still listed as vulnerable on the list of species at risk of extinction.
If you want to learn more about pandas or see them in action in their natural habitat, you won’t want to miss “Born in China.” It opens in theaters everywhere on April 21, just in time for Earth Day the follow day.
Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure film “Born In China” takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard—an elusive animal rarely caught on camera—faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China’s vast terrain—from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest—on the wings of red-crowned cranes, seamlessly tying the extraordinary tales together.
You can see a clip (and meet Ya Ya and Mei Mei) here:
My family is excited to see “Born In China” and learn even more about these amazing creatures!
Images and facts are courtesy of Disneynature.
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