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News > China

Brown Panda Appears in Public for the First Time in China

  • Brown panda in Qinling Sibao Science Park, Xi'an City, China, June 4, 2021.

    Brown panda in Qinling Sibao Science Park, Xi'an City, China, June 4, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @AnaSilvadeR

Published 4 June 2021 (7 hours 32 minutes ago)
Opinion

This 11-year-old male panda was abandoned by its parents two months after it was born.

A rare species of a brown panda bear, named Qizai, could be seen outdoors in the courtyard of its enclosure at the Qinling Sibao Science Park in China on Friday, being the world´s only representative of its subspecies raised in captivity.

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Abandoned by its mother when it was barely two months old, the 11-year-old Qizai had been attacked by other specimens in its puppy stage. For this reason, the animal received medical attention at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) in Qilin.

In 2009, Qizai was adopted by Pandas International, a U.S.-based NGO that seeks to ensure the preservation and propagation of the giant pandas.

The world's first brown panda was discovered in 1985 in the Qinling Mountains and it is suggested that their unusual colors are caused by a mutation or atavism. The Qiling research center attempted to cross Qizai with the female Zhu Zhu to seek offspring with his colors, but the result was not fruitful.

Qizai eats around 20 kilograms of bamboo every day and interacts with the rest of the pandas in the reserve without any problem. Although he will continue to live in China, Pandas International will have access to visit him and will receive regular updates on his health status.

Pandas are in danger of extinction. Their free-ranging populations survive thanks to the bamboo forests in the Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces.

Although the number of specimens has grown, their recovery is complicated due to the loss of their natural habitat and their long reproduction periods.

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