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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 .
Scientists aren't sure how long giant pandas live in the wild, but they are sure it's shorter than life spans in zoos. Chinese scientists have reported zoo pandas as old as 35.
The giant panda is listed as endangered in the World Conservation Union's (IUCN's) Red List of Threatened Animals. It is one of the most critically endangered species in the world. There are about 1,600 left in the wild. More than 160 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world, mostly in China .
At birth, the cub is helpless , and it takes considerable effort on the mother’s part to raise it. A newborn cub weighs three to five ounces and is about the size of a stick of butter. Pink, hairless, and blind, the cub is 1/900th the size of its mother . Except for a marsupial (such as the kangaroo or opossum), a giant panda baby is the smallest mammal newborn relative to its mother's size.
Cubs do not open their eyes until they are six to eight weeks of age and are not mobile until three months. A cub may nurse for eight to nine months . A cub is nutritionally weaned at one year, but not socially weaned for up to two years.
A wild panda spends much of its day resting, feeding, and seeking food. Unlike other bears from temperate climates, giant pandas do not hibernate . Until recently, scientists thought giant pandas spent most of their lives alone, with males and females meeting only during the breeding season. Recent studies paint a different picture, in which small groups of pandas share a large territory and sometimes meet outside the breeding season.
Giant pandas reach breeding maturity between four and eight years of age. They may be reproductive until about age 20 . Female pandas ovulate only once a year, in the spring . A short period of two to three days around ovulation is the only time she is able to conceive . Calls and scents draw males and females to each other.
Female giant pandas give birth between 95 and 160 days after mating. Although females may give birth to two young, usually only one survives . Giant panda cubs may stay with their mothers for up to three years before striking out on their own . This means a wild female, at best, can produce young only every other year; in her lifetime , she may successfully raise only five to eight cubs . The giant pandas’ naturally slow breeding rate prevents a population from recovering quickly from illegal hunting, habitat loss, and other human-related causes of mortality.
Panda Clone So lovely So beautiful But Only about 1,100 pandas in the world What should we do?
Panda Clone Could Save Species Chinese scientists say they're on the verge of successfully cloning giant pandas. One of the appeals of cloning is the idea that it might be used to rescue endangered animals, particularly ones like pandas that don't breed well.
Artificial Insemination Shen-Shen, borned by AI Chegdu, China. In July 2009, Chinese scientists confirmed the birth of the first cub to be successfully conceived through artificial insemination using frozen sperm. The panda was born at 07:41 on 23 July that year in Sichuan as the third child of You You, an 11-year-old. The technique for freezing the sperm in liquid nitrogen was first developed in 1980 and the first birth was hailed as a solution to the problem of lessening panda semen availability which had led to in-breeding. It has been suggested that panda semen, which can be frozen for decades, could be shared between different zoos to save the species. It is expected that zoos in destinations such as San Diego in the United States and Mexico City will now be able to provide their own semen to produce more pandas.