- China is the only place in the world where giant pandas live in the wild.
- Giant pandas—often referred to as just pandas—live in central China in sections of the Sichuan, Shaannxi and Gansu provinces at elevations ranging from 5,000-10,000 feet. The temperate forests they live in produce 30-40 inches of precipitation each year—which is good for bamboo.
- China has 67 protected reserves to help save existing panda habitat.
- Giant pandas are black and white. One theory is that the distinct coloring helps them spot each other when it comes to mating. Another is that the coloring serves as camouflage–particularly when the animal is up in trees.
- Giant pandas stand between 5’2” and 6’2”. Males weigh 190-275 pounds, while females weigh 155-220 pounds.
- Pandas live about 14-20 years in the wild.
- The gestation period for pandas ranges from 3-5 months. The average female produces 5-8 cubs in her lifetime. She can start reproducing at 4-5 years old.
- Cubs weigh 3-5 ounces at birth—about the size of a stick of butter. Mom is 900 times bigger. Cubs are born pink, hairless and blind. They don’t venture far from mom till they’re about six months old—though they nurse till they’re eight- to nine months old.
- Pandas leave their mothers for good at about age 3.
- Giant pandas are bears—but they don’t hibernate. They do, however, spend a lot of time resting and sleeping—when they’re not eating.
- Pandas eat up to 40 pounds of bamboo every day. They have a pseudo thumb—or modied wrist bone—to help grip the bamboo. They also occasionally eat meat.
- Neighbors to the panda include dwarf blue sheep, multi-colored pheasants, crested ibis, golden snub-nosed monkeys and goat antelopes. Predators of young pandas include jackals, leopards and yellow-throated marten.
- Pandas live a solitary lifestyle, but they do communicate with each other with sounds and scent. They make goat-like cries and squeaks. To signal nearby giant pandas, they’ll rub a waxy substance on trees that’s secreted from scent glands at the base of their tails.
- Giant pandas will scratch tree bark with their massive claws as a visual sign of where they’ve been—it’s like they’re writing a quick note to their friends.
The giant panda was recently downgraded from endangered to vulnerable on the global list of species at risk of extinction. According to the International Union for Conservation on Nature, there was a 17 percent increase in population between 2004-2014; the 2014 census found 1,864 giant pandas in the wild in China. Moviegoers who see Disneynature’s “Born in China” during opening week (April 21-27, 2017) will help protect wild pandas and snow leopards in China. Based on opening-week attendance, Disneynature, via the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, will make a contribution to the World Wildlife Fund.