The Giant Panda

The Giant Panda is one of the rarest animals in the world. It is a species, or kind, of bear and is found only in China. They are solitary animals, living alone in the bamboo forests.

They are black and white animals with round heads, small black ears and white faces. They have a black patch around each eye. They have short tails. They walk on all fours and can climb trees, often doing so to find a place to sleep. An adult Giant Panda is about 150 centimeters long and weighs about 90 kilograms, although the biggest one ever weighed was 180 kilogram.

Giant Pandas live in bamboo forests in the mountains of western China. The forests are very thick and the pandas are generally hidden from view, so it has been hard for scientists to learn about them. This lack of knowledge adds to the difficulty of saving the pandas. 
 
Once they were found throughout China, but the bamboo forests in eastern China have been cut down for farming. This has made the forest areas into 'islands', making it impossible for the bears to roam widely and meet each other to mate.

About 99% of the Giant Panda's food is bamboo, though it also eats grass, roots, plants and even meat. Bamboo is actually a type of grass that grows as tall as trees. Although there are hundreds of kinds of bamboo, the Giant Panda eats only 4 or 5 kinds.