Meet the Panda Bear of China
He’s cuddly and adorable but he’s a vulnerable species…
The giant panda might disappear from the face of the Earth despite being one of the world’s most loved animals, as well as a symbol of organizations that are dedicated to wildlife conservation (such as the World Wildlife Fund for Nature Link – WWF) and an icon of the Chinese culture. DINKtravelers will tell you how to profit from your next trip to this Asian country to visit the panda in its habitat and promote its survival.
Daily Life of a Panda Bear
Considering the relaxed life they have (pandas spend more than half a day feeding, 40% of the time sleeping and another 2% playing) you might think that their participation in their ecosystem and in culture is scarce, but the truth is that these chubby bears help maintain the rich biodiversity of their habitat by spreading seeds throughout bamboo forests.
What Does the Panda Symbolize
Culturally, this playful animal that the Chinese call daxiongmao (bear-cat) is a symbol of friendship and peace; for this reason, in the past, whenever they hoisted a flag with an image of a panda, both sides understood that as a truce and suspended the combat temporarily. In fact, in recent times China has donated several pandas to countries like the United States, France, Spain and Mexico as a gesture of peaceful relations among nations.
If you like to reconnect with your inner self when you travel, remember that because the panda’s fur is black and white, it is considered the physical manifestation of the yin-yang, which helps humans find peace and harmony as long as it’s perfectly balanced.
Panda Bear in Danger of Extinction
The main destinations in China where you can visit the panda include the provinces of Sichuan and Shaanxi. However, despite the few number of pandas that still live in their natural habitat (approximately 1,600) you can also find them in the natural reserves of Chengdu. There, organizations like the Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda make sure that pandas mate during the 2-4 days that their mating season lasts between March and May. We recommend visiting them early, at around 9 o’clock, because that’s when pandas tend to be more playful.
Guarantee the conservation of pandas by practicing ecotourism with guides or organizations that are authorized by the WWF in China. This way you’ll help preserve the natural beauty and cultural wealth of this destination.
Panda Fun Facts
Pandas possess the internal organs of carnivorous mammals but they are vegetarians. Apart from the 40kg of bamboo they eat daily, when they are in captivity they are also fed eggs, apples, corn bread and milk. No wonder they weight up to 125kg!