Female pandas do not normally mate until they are 5 to 7 years of age. Pandas breeding season takes place from March to May, then the baby pandas are born three to six months later, weighing only eightyfive to one hundred forty grams. The female panda gives birth once a year to one or two cubs. Two cubs may be born from one mother at the same time, but only one will survive. The reason for this is because one baby panda alone requires a lot of care. Baby pandas grow in the first four to five years and usually stay with their mother for more than a year. They are blind when first born, but their eyes open after three weeks to a month. The mother panda usually spends about 12 hours per day feeding, staying with the cub 10 days without without feeding herself. Panda cubs are extremely vulnerable while the mother is away feeding on bamboo.
Food Supply Although the pandas will eat many different kinds of plants, 99% of their diet consists of bamboo leaves, stems, and shoots. Over fifteen different kinds of bamboo grow within the region. Pandas need a lot of food to keep alive. They must eat great amounts of bamboo every day in order to get enough nutrition to survive. Every day they eat for 12 to 16 hours. Pandas will eat 10 - 18 kilograms of bamboo leaves and stems each day. When consuming fresh bamboo shoots, their necessary intake rises to approximately 38 kilograms every day. Occasionally, they catch and eat a small bird or mammal.
â€˘ Although the Chinese government mandates prison time for anyone caught killing a panda, poaching still occurs. Additionally, pandas are sometimes killed by traps intended for other animals
Pandas are rare today and are protected by law in China. In 1963, the first panda was exhibited in a zoo outside of China. Today, there are more than a dozen pandas in most zoos. Scientists study the zoo pandas in hope to learn how to save wild pandas from extinction. There are only about 700 to 1000 pandas alive in the world today.
Bibliography http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?it emid=378&catid=10&subcatid=68 http://www.edu.pe.ca/southernkings/ panda.htm http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_is_ the_panda_an_endangered_species http://www.ehow.com/facts_5176027_ pandas-endangered-animals_.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_ panda