When pandas eat, they always chop off the bamboo first, bite a piece into several bars, and chew them together when their mouths are full. Similar to human beings eating sugar cane, they only suck at the content of bamboo wall cells. The difference is that the giant panda does not spit out scum, but swallows the chewed bamboo sticks as a whole.
Why is the panda’s feces not smelly at all? The panda feeds on bamboo, but the panda’s digestive system still retains the characteristics of carnivores. The food stays and gets digested for a short time, and it does not have the enzymes that can degrade cellulose and lignin .
If they have poor nutrition, they can only eat more to keep up with their strength. On the other hand, the panda’s intestines are short and the bamboo stays in it only for a short time. Most of them are excreted before being even digested. Bamboo that has not been fermented would have its original, clear fragrance.
Different giant pandas have different lengths of bite joints when eating, and the length of bamboo fiber left in the feces varies as well. Sometimes the different colors of the bamboo that they eat would be different as well.
After pandas eat the bamboo shoots, their feces would appear yellowish green; when they eat bamboo stems, the feces appear pale green; and when they eat leaves and branches, they appear green. Experts often judge the age and health of pandas based on the color of the feces and the length of residual bamboo.
A few days ago, the media revealed that “Panda Tea”, which was cultivated with panda feces as a fertilizer, claimed to have wonderful anti-cancer effects, and it’s sold at a stunning price of 440,000 yuan per kilogram.
The reason why this tea is called “Panda Tea” is that these teas are “rare tea leaves” grown by using panda feces as fertilizers, and the developer also intuitively believed that this tea leaves have amazing anti-cancer effects . Is the panda feces really that effective?
Dr. Shi Jun, a doctor of botany and a member of the Association of Scientists, published an article to elaborate further. In his opinion, the anti-cancer effect given by the “Panda Tea” is just some nonsense.
Shi Jun said that there are currently no reports showing that there are any anti-cancer ingredients in bamboo. Even if there are, the tea cannot absorb them, because the roots of tea trees mainly absorb mineral elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
According to experts, the main components of panda’s feces are the residues of bamboo and bamboo shoots. Due to poor gastrointestinal function of pandas, they can only absorb 20% of the nutrients in food, so there’s actually a high amount of nutrients in their feces.
In addition, many other nutritious foods are added to the diet of captive pandas, so the content of protein and crude fiber in their feces is really high. There is thus no problem to use it as a fertilizer for tea plantation. There is no scientific basis to prove whether the anti-cancer function in bamboo has been “passed on” and whether it has any anti-cancer functions at all.