The history of the panda begins with its discovery in China. For centuries, the bamboo bear was a semi-mythical creature, along with the dragon. Documents show that the Dowager Empress Bo was buried around 170 BC with a panda skull. This skull may have been a talisman or a rare treasure to accompany the empress to the afterlife. An ancient Chinese encyclopedia also mentions the medicinal properties of the panda skin and its ability to ward off evil spirits.
In the West, however, there was little information about the panda until the 19th century. In 1869, French naturalist Jean-Pierre Armand David, during his travels in China, discovered a panda skin in the home of a wealthy landowner. He realized that this was the mythical creature he had heard about earlier. David asked local hunters to catch a live panda, but they were only able to deliver him the hide and skull. After that, new information about the panda hardly appeared for half a century.
In 1914 a German zoologist saw a live panda in the wild, and in 1925 the sons of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt shot one panda and obtained the skin of another from a Chinese hunter. These specimens became part of the collection of an American museum.
Today, the great panda is a symbol of China and one of the most recognizable animals in the world. Its image is used in various advertising campaigns and has become part of pop culture. However, despite all this, the panda population is still in danger of extinction.
Basic facts about the panda:
1. the Great Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is one of the rarest and most threatened animal species in the world. It is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a vulnerable species.
2. Pandas are found only in the mountainous regions of China. Their main habitat is Sichuan province, as well as Gansu and Shaanxi.
3. big pandas are well known for their preference for bamboo. In the wild, they consume about 12-38 kg of bamboo per day.
4. Pandas have a special anatomy that helps them adapt to life in trees. They have large five-toed paws with sharp claws that help them climb trees and cling to bamboo stems.
5. Breeding is difficult for pandas because of the low reproductive capacity of females and the low breeding interest of males. This is one of the reasons why the panda population remains small.
6. Pandas also face threats in the form of habitat loss due to deforestation and road construction. Their numbers are also declining due to poaching and the panda trade.
7. International organizations and Chinese governments have made efforts to conserve the panda. Reserves and national parks have been established to protect their habitat, and captive breeding programs are underway.
8. Panda populations have begun to increase slightly in recent years due to conservation efforts. However, they are still vulnerable and require further protection.