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Why Are Pandas Always Sleep When You See Them In Zoo ?

People who have seen pandas in a zoo often have the following question – why are the pandas always sleeping when there’re visitors?
There are two reasons:

The first is that the rest time of wild giant pandas is not the same as human beings:  

0: 00-2: 00 rest, 2: 00-7: 00 breakfast, 7: 00-10: 30 rest, 10:30-11:30 playing, 11: 00-12: 00 lunch, 12: 00-14:30 rest, 14: 30-21:00 dinner, 21: 00-22:00 rest at night.

The second reason is that pandas prefer cold weather than a hot one. When the weather is cool, pandas are more willing to go outdoors. When the outdoor temperature rises above 26 degrees, pandas naturally want to avoid the summer heat and would reduce their activities.

Pandas get very little amount of energy from the bamboo that they eat all day. Therefore, they need to save as much energy as possible. The scientists studied the amount of daily energy spent of 5 captive pandas and 3 wild pandas, and found that they consumed only 38% of the energy of a similar animal of the same weight. Pandas consume only slightly a bit more energy than the three-toed sloth, famous for its laziness.

Pandas in zoos are lazier than those in the wild. In captivity, pandas spend only 33% of their time being active. However, in the wild, they spend 49% of their time moving around. Scientists have tracked pandas with the Global Positioning System (GPS) and found that they are even less active than other bears. This tracking system is the same device used for satellite navigation, and it found out that pandas also move very slowly in the wild.

Pandas save a lot of energy needed for physical activity. In average, they only move 20 meters per hour, but their low activity could also help them to slow down metabolism. It’s worth noting that the metabolic rate of an active panda is still lower than that of a completely immobile person. 

We’ve found that their low metabolic rate is often associated with very low levels of thyroid hormones. The low level of thyroid hormone in pandas is related to their unique way of synthesis of thyroid hormone. 

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Why Panda Is WWF Symbol

On September 11, 1961, Mr. Julian Huxley, a well-known British biologist established the World Wildlife Fund in a small town in Switzerland as its founder, which is the predecessor of WWF. Along with the expansion of its scale, it later became impossible to accurately express the scope of the organization’s activities, and it was changed to the current WWF in 1986.

During the construction of the organization, it was inevitable to design an emblem as a sign of publicity. As an international organization dedicated to the protection of nature around the world, the best effect of the emblem is that it can overcome language barriers, since it’s not limited to population, culture, all aspects of politics, etc. In short, an emblem is a sentence that everyone could understand, but it must also be convincing enough to achieve the purpose of publicity and protection. Also, it’s best to use only black and white for the emblem, as it could save more costs than color printing.  

With these three criteria in design, it’s without doubt that zebras and pandas would be considered. When making this critical choice between the two, in 1961, the giant panda Chi Chi was transported to the London Zoo for an exhibition.

People who had never seen pandas all flooded in to see Xixi, and there were once over 10,000 visitors. Mr. Huxley was also one of them. For one, he felt a kind of fanatical atmosphere, and he finally decided to use the giant panda as a reference for the design of the emblem. Since then, the lovely giant panda has become a symbol of WWF.

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Pandas In Spain

When the Spanish King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia visited China in 1978, the Chinese government presented a pair of giant pandas “Qiang Qiang” and “Shao Shao”. They became the first Chinese pandas to arrive in Spain.

In 1982, the offspring of Qiang Qiang and Shao Shao, Zhu Lin, became the first giant panda in Europe to be born by artificial insemination in a captive environment, and rapidly became a star in Spain. When “Zhu Lin” met the public for the first time, the number of visitors to the Madrid Zoo had reached a historical high.

“Zhu Lin” lived in Madrid until his death in 1996. At the time, with the support of Queen Sofia, children from all over Spain donated their pocket money and erected a bronze statue of the giant panda that had been living Spain for nearly 14 years. Its remains were made into specimens and displayed in the Spanish National Museum of Natural Science.

On September 8, 2007, 11 years after the death of “Zhu Lin”, the giant panda “Bin Xing” and “Hua Zui Ba” took a special plane to the Spanish capital, Madrid.

On September 7, 2010, through artificial insemination, “Hua Zui Ba” successfully gave birth to a pair of twin brothers. They are also the second and third baby pandas born and living in Spain, one named “De De”, taken from the second Chinese word of “Ma De Li” (Chinese Pinyin for “Madrid), the other one is “A Bao”, taken from the movie “Kung Fu Panda”. They have very different personalities. “De De” is cute and obedient and it spends most of the time sleeping, and “A Bao” is slightly more active.

On May 18, 2013, the brothers returned to their hometown in China from Spain, and settle in The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

On August 30, 2013, “Hua Zui Ba” gave birth to the third male panda baby, that is, the fourth panda born and living in Spain. Netizens voted for the name “Xing Bao”, meaning a baby born in Madrid.

On September 26, 2017, the giant panda “Xing Bao” officially set off and returned to his hometown in Chengdu.

On August 30, 2016, “Hua Zui Ba” and “Bin Xing” successfully conceived a female giant panda baby in Madrid through natural conception.

On January 12, 2017, the newborn baby was finally named “Zhu Lina”. It is the fifth giant panda born in the Madrid Zoo and the first female giant panda born and living locally.

On February 23, 2018, China and Spain renewed their panda collaborative research agreement and Spain would keep the current pair of pandas until 2023.

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Pandas In Thailand

In 2003, the Chinese giant pandas “Chuang Chuang” and “Lin Hui” settled in the Chiang Mai Zoo for a renting period of 10 years. Thanks to the cooperation of experts from Thailand and China, the panda couple gave birth to a female baby panda through artificial insemination in 2009. 

As the first panda born in Thailand, the little one got all the attention. In order to give it a name, the Thai government held a million-baht national campaign of naming that year, with 22 million people participating among all the 63 million people nationwide. Finally, the Thai government chose the name “Lin Bing”, inspired by its mother’s name “Lin Hui” and merged with the homophonic sound of Chiang Mai Riverfront.

Since then, the family of three giant pandas has become the hottest star in Thailand’s animal world. When “Lin Bing” turned one month old, a hundred days old, one year and two years old, the Thai government always carefully organized a series of celebrations. In November 2009, the panda TV channel named “Lin Bing Reality Show” was officially launched. It broadcasted the daily life of the three members of the “Lin Bing” family in 24 hours in real time.

According to the agreement, “Lin Bing” should have returned to China when he turned 4 years old. The Thai side has therefore repeatedly asked China for permission to Keep Lin Bing. In the end, the two sides reached an agreement, stating that “Lin Bing” would return to China in October this year to find a mate, and try to return to Thailand with his mate within one year. At that time, “Chuang Chuang” and “Lin Hui” will bid farewell to Thailand. The new panda couple will have spent their 15th year in Thailand.

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Pandas In Germany

From Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a 4-year-old female giant panda “Meng Meng” and a 7-year-old male giant panda “Jiao Qing” arrived safely in Berlin, Germany on June 24, 2017. This means that after five years of absence, the Germans would once again see pandas in their home country. The two pandas were rented by Germany for 15 years.

According to the information provided by the Berlin Zoo, the footprints of giant pandas can be traced back to the “Bao Bao” and “Tian Tian” presented as gifts to the Federal Republic of Germany by the Chinese Government in 1980. The female of this pair of pandas, Tian Tian, unfortunately passed away in 1984, leaving Bao Bao continuing his single life in Berlin.

In 1995, the Berlin Zoo rented the female panda “Yan Yan” from China. Unfortunately, before the death of Yan Yan in 2007, the zoo’s efforts to help her conceive several times have always been in vain.
In 2012, the oldest (34-year-old) male captive panda in the world, Bao Bao, came to the end of his life. So far, there have been no more giant pandas in Berlin Zoo and throughout Germany.

To welcome the two giant pandas, the Berlin Zoo spent 10 million euros renovating the new panda pavilion. Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended the opening ceremony of the Panda Pavilion.
In view of the popularity of giant pandas in Germany, the Berlin Zoo has also opened a “Panda Blog” section on its official website to update the latest development of giant pandas in Berlin. At the beginning of the column, it was already stated that the Berlin Zoo was experiencing a “fanaticism about giant pandas”.

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Pandas In France

In the early spring of 1869, a French missionary named Pierre Armand David came to China from Espelette in the Pyrénées, southwestern France.

In Dengchigou, Baoxing County, Ya’an City of Sichuan Province, David first saw an animal which was called a “black and white bear” by the local people. He found it a shocking discovery. That year, he transported specimens of the “black and white bear” to France and recommended his new findings to the world.

This kind of animal called a “black and white bear” is actually a giant panda. With the discovery and dissemination of David that year, Ya’an, Sichuan became the world’s first scientific discovery and naming site for giant pandas.

In 2012, the giant pandas Huan Huan and Yuan Zai arrived in ZooParc de Beauval, France, as the “messengers” of Sino-French exchanges, they also marked the start of a ten-year Sino-French panda breeding cooperation program.

On August 4, 2017, the first panda baby born in France- “Yuan Meng” was ushered in the Panda Pavilion in ZooParc de Beauval. The baby panda’s name was personally named by French first lady, Brigitte Macron.

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Pandas In Mexcio-The Only Pandas That Don’t Belong To China

In September 1975, the Chinese government gave the Mexican government a pair of giant pandas as presents -“Ying Ying” and “Bei Bei”. It was the first time for Mexico to have a panda of its own.

Thanks to the efforts of the Chapultepec Zoo in the capital – Mexico City, Mexico ’s first generation of giant pandas, “Ying Ying” and “Bei Bei”, gave birth to 7 panda babies, becoming the panda couples with the strongest ability to breed abroad in more than 40 years .

At present, “Shuang Shuang” and “Xin Xin” are still alive. They are are the second and third generations of “Ying Ying” and “Bei Bei”.

These two old pandas are both female, named Shuang Shuang and Xin Xin. Since their birth, they have lived in the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico. Shuang Shuang has turned 30 years old this year and Xinxin is 28 years old. It’s equivalent to 100 years of age of a human being.

In Mexico, cactus is definitely a gourmet. Due to the geographical environment of Mexico, there are rich cactus plants and edible cacti have also been developed. The locals love the cactus food. And they eat it too. In Mexico, when people hand food to pandas, they also include cactus in it. Xin Xin and Shuang Shuang consume a lot of cacti every day.  

The reason for this is that there are too few bamboos in Mexico, which are not enough for pandas’ daily consumption, especially when Xin Xin’s brothers and sisters are still alive. There were just not enough bamboos for all the pandas. Therefore, the breeders gave them some cacti tentatively, and it turned out that they really liked eating it. They could also digest it well. According to the research of experts, we found that cactus and bamboo are more nutritious for pandas. Therefore, cactus has become a standard meal for pandas.

In 1984, pandas were officially listed as an endangered species. According to the international conventions at the time, no animals could be used as gifts. They could only be applied for renting by the host country. Since Ying Ying, Bei Bei and their descendants had been given to Mexico before 1975, they’re naturally not within the scope of the Convention. In turn, the descendants of Ying Ying and Bei Bei no longer belonged to China, Shuang Shuang and Xin Xin become the only two living pandas that do not belong to China.