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Pictures of Pandas
The Panda Bear prefers mountainous bamboo forests. It inhabits elevations between 7,500 and 12,000 feet. In times of extreme cold, the Panda does not hibernate like most bears. Instead, it typically descends to a lower elevation down the mountain in the winter. Their diet is primarily soft bamboo shoots. However they have been documented hunting small mammals and fish. Still, 95% + of a Panda Bears diet is bamboo, which in itself can be one of the biggest threats to the survival of Wild Panda Bears. This is something David actually taught me years ago about bamboo. Bamboo does not “Flower” every year like most plants. In reality, bamboo is the “Worlds Largest Grass”. Each species of bamboo has a different “Flowering Cycle” that can be anywhere between every 1 to every 150 years. I know what you are thinking, “how is the “Flowering Cycle” of bamboo relevant to the survival of the Giant Panda Bear”? Well let me tell you! Immediately after a bamboo plant flowers, it dies. To make matters worse, every plant cultivated from the same lineage over generation and generation, regardless of whether it is moved to North Carolina or in China, flowers and dies at the exact same time. This fact in turn means a massive loss of Panda Bear food in native and captive habitats. Lucky this does not happen very often, but is does happen as it did a few years ago. When this occurs, China “Panda Bear Conservationist”, import other bamboo species to subsidize the wild Panda’s diet. By the way, while we are talking about bamboo and Pandas, do you know why a Panda Bears head is so big proportionally compared to most bears? It is because they require extra large zygomatic arches in their skulls to allow for the massive mastication muscles to fit. These muscles are needed to chew the bamboo husks. I love random trivia!
Anyhow, David and I are fired up to add this new area “Other
Animals of Interest” to the Sanctuary’s Web Site.
Although we would love to add a few Panda Bear Cams to our
extensive collection of animal WEB CAMS scattered throughout
the Sanctuary’s animal habitats; we will not be acquiring
a Panda Bear anytime soon ;-)! In actuality, Panda Bears
are in most cases “Governmental Gifts” between
countries. They are also a very protected Endangered Species
and are covered under CITES (Convention on the International
Trade In Endangered Species).
David and I invite you all to visit the Sanctuary via the numerous Web Cams placed in the large naturalistic and enriching habitats of our resident White Tigers, Golden Tigers, Bengal Tigers, Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, Red Ruffed Lemurs and Ringtail Lemurs. We hope you will take the time to read up on the Sanctuary’s “Mission Statement” and learn from the “Educational Center”. We are constantly trying to improve and add educational content to the site, so please visit often as things are changing EVERY DAY! In the meantime, keep an eye out for our next “Animal of Interest” , Koala Bears!