Giant Panda

(Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

CHARACTERISTICS

Origin
Subtropical uplands of China

Diet
Bamboo

Status
vulnerable, 2,000 wild pandas

Weight
up to 125 kg

Gestation time:
95 to 160 days

Achievable age
Up to 20 years in the wild, up to 30 years in human care

Boy next door Jiao Qing
Jiao Qing was born on 15 July 2010 and weighs approx. 108 kg. This active, curious and mischievous young chap came to Berlin from China with female panda Meng Meng. With a bit of luck, he and she will be parents one day.

Girl next door Meng Meng
An adorable round face with a cute, stubby snout? That’s our Meng Meng! This gentle female panda was born on 10 July 2013 and weighs approx. 77 kg. Since summer 2017, she has lived with male panda Jiao Qing in the new 5,480 m Panda Garden in Berlin.

A two-room apartment?
Because pandas are solitary animals, the two bears here at the zoo each have their own private space. Pandas are also homebodies. Although their territory can cover up to 6 km, in order to save energy they don’t actually move around much. Some days they walk a few hundred metres, but they usually spend their time sleeping, snoozing or eating. By the way, because bamboo grows year round, pandas do not need to hibernate.

Family planning
A panda hoping to become a mother has to pay close attention to her cycle, as females are only fertile for around 72 hours each spring. That means many of them only fall pregnant every two or three years. The
gestation period is four months, after which up to three babies are born. Usually only one cub survives.

Diet
Bamboo with a side of bamboo. The grass makes up 99% of pandas’ diets and they eat up to 30 kg of it each day.

Perfectly adapted
Pandas have a sort of extra thumb – a modified sesamoid bone – that allows them to grip bamboo shoots. An ordinary bear’s paw just wouldn’t be up to the job.

Did you know?

  • Male giant pandas weigh as much as 125 kg.
  • Pandas were not discovered until the middle of the 19th century.
  • There are estimated to be no more than 2,000 pandas living in the wild.