In my opinion, pandas are one of the cutest animals to walk the earth. There are so many crazy and interesting things that I didn’t know about pandas, from when and where they like to take naps, to how much they weigh at birth. These cute little creatures are highly featured in Disneynature’s Born in China coming to theaters April 21st. In honor of this incredible movie coming out next month, here are 14 panda fun facts that you should know before you see the movie!
- China is the only place in the world where pandas live freely.
- Giant pandas — often referred to as just pandas — live in Central China in sections of the Sichuan, Shaannxi and Gansu provinces at elevations ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 feet. The forests where these pandas live in produce 30 to 40 inches of precipitation each year, which is very good for bamboo.
- China has 67 reserves to help save the existing panda habitat.
- Giant pandas are black and white. There is a theory that these colors help them spot each other when it comes to mating, while another theory says that their colors serve as camouflage, particularly when the pandas are up in trees.
- Giant pandas stand between 5’2” and 6’2”. Males weigh 190-275 pounds, while females weigh 155-220 pounds.
- Pandas live about 14-20 years in the wild.
- The gestation period for pandas ranges from 3-5 months. The average female panda produces 5-8 cubs in her lifetime, and she can start reproducing at around age 4 or 5.
- Cubs weigh 3-5 ounces at birth, which is about the size of a stick of butter, while mother pandas are about 900 times bigger! Panda cubs are born pink, hairless, and blind, and they don’t stray from their mothers until they are about 6 months old — though they nurse until they’re 8 to 9 months old.
- Pandas leave their mothers for good at about age 3.
- Giant pandas are bears, but they don’t hibernate like other species. They do, however, spend a lot of time sleeping when they’re not eating.
- Pandas eat about 40 pounds of bamboo per day and they have a pseudo thumb, or modified wrist, that helps them grip the bamboo. Pandas also occasionally eat meat.
- Some neighbors to the panda include: dwarf blue sheep, multi-colored pheasants, crested ibis, golden snub-nosed monkeys and goat antelopes. Whereas, some of the predators of young pandas include jackals, leopards and yellow-throated marten.
- Pandas live a solitary lifestyle, but they do communicate with each other by sounds and scent. They make goat-like cries and squeaks and signal to nearby pandas by rubbing a waxy substance on trees that’s secreted from scent glands at the base of their tails.
- Giant pandas will scratch their massive claws on trees to let other pandas know where they’ve been. It’s almost like writing a quick note to their friends!
Now that you know almost everything about pandas, you’re ready to see Born in China when it comes out in theaters on April 21st! Based on opening-week attendance of the film, Disneynature will be making a donation to the World Wildlife Fund to help spread awareness of the vulnerable panda population in China. I would highly recommend that you see this movie and support this great cause!
Check out these fun videos for more information about the movie!