INTRO: You probably know that pandas are furry, cute, mammals native to China. But did you know that even though the panda eats bamboo it actually is classified as a carnivore?

HABITAT: Pandas live in central-western and southwestern China. They used to live in the lowlands but moved up to the mountains because of deforestation.

DIET: Each day most pandas eat 20 to 30 pounds of bamboo shoots. They also eat honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, bananas, and oranges, but they only eat those foods when they can find them.

LIFE CYCLE: Birth- In the spring the mother panda gives birth. She usually has one or two babies. They are blind, pink, have no fur, and are helpless, so she needs to take care of them. She can only take care of one baby so she abandons the other. It soon dies. 1 to 2 weeks after birth- The cub’s skin turns gray where its fur will later turn black. 1 month after birth- The panda’s black and white markings can be seen. 75 to 90 days after birth- The panda starts to crawl. 6 months after birth- The cub starts to eat a bit of bamboo. 18 months-2 years old- The panda leaves its mom.

File:Pandas eating bamboo Washington Zoo.JPG

A panda eating bamboo. Photo taken by Wikipedia user Asiir

I hope you enjoyed hearing about giant pandas. They really are fascinating animals.

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