Thursday, March 01, 2007

Giant panda

The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) ("black-and-white cat-foot") is a mammal classified in the bear family, Ursidae, native to central and southern China.It is easily known by its large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, ears and on its rotund body. Though technically a carnivore, the panda has a diet which is 98% bamboo. However, they may eat other foods such as honey, eggs, fish, and yams.
The Giant Panda is an endangered animal; an estimated 3,000 pandas live in the wildand some 221 were reported to live in captivity at the end of 2006 in China,with twenty pandas living outside of China. However, reports show that the numbers of wild panda are on the rise.The giant panda has long been a most wanted of the public, at least partly on account of the fact that the species has an appealing baby-like cuteness that makes it seem to resemble a living teddy bear. The fact that it is regularly depicted reclining peacefully eating bamboo, as opposed to hunting, also adds to its image of innocence. Though the giant panda is often assumed docile because of their cuteness, they have been known to attack humans, usually assumed to be out of irritation rather than predatory behavior.

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