Rare Video Footage of Wild Pandas

Candice Gaukel Andrews February 21, 2013 10

Giant pandas are among the world’s most uncommon and elusive animals. China’s State Forestry Administration estimates that there are only about 1,600 of them remaining in the wild, down from 2,500 in the 1970s. They inhabit the mountainous regions of China’s Sichuan (1,200 pandas), Shaanxi (300 pandas), and Gansu (100 pandas) Provinces.

Animals similar to pandas lived between three million to half a million years ago. In June 2007, a skull of the earliest known ancestor of the panda — estimated to be more than two million years old — was discovered in a cave in south China. Although today pandas are known for their almost exclusive diet of bamboo, panda ancestors were carnivores, as evidenced by the animals’ last upper premolar and first lower molar, which are specially adapted for shearing through meat and known as carnassials. Carnassial teeth in modern pandas have evolved into grinding surfaces for chewing bamboo.

Watch the two short videos below. In the first, you’ll get an unusual look at a wild, newborn panda cub. In the second, you’ll see unique footage of a wild panda feeding on a takin carcass, captured just last year.

For many centuries, pandas were thought to be mythical creatures, such as dragons or unicorns. The first panda shown in the United States was a cub named Su-Lin, brought from Sichuan in 1936 by Ruth Harkness, a rich socialite. Harkness later sold Su-Lin to the Brookfield Zoo, located outside of Chicago.

Today, we still mostly see pandas only in zoos. To have the rare chance of sighting one in the wild, check out Natural Habitat Adventures’ Panda tour in China.

National Geographic:

The Telegraph:

10 Comments »

  1. Hal Balbach February 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    The comment about Brookfield Zoo reminds me that, as a child (1944-50) I had no idea that pandas were that special, because Brookfield Zoo had three of them at the same time. It was only 15 years later that I realized that almost nobody in the US had any once those original ones died.

  2. David Thompson Ingoe February 21, 2013 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Knowledge on these animals will help protect them. Great clip.

  3. Bob Gettman February 22, 2013 at 6:12 am - Reply

    Wonderful !! Thank you, Candice, for sharing this with us.

  4. Manisha Dubey February 22, 2013 at 6:13 am - Reply

    Thanks! for giving us Information Candice :)

  5. PROF. PARTHASARATHI CHATTOPADHYAY February 22, 2013 at 8:28 am - Reply

    Hitherto, I had had the notion that Giant Pandas are vegetarians leaving off mainly from bamboo fronds & leaves as their staple diet. But this video has changed that idea! They are meat lovers too!. Of course, that should be for they belong to bear family and all bears are carnivores and opportunistic feeders. They love berries and raw flesh equally. ……..Thanks Candice for such a posting. You’re lucky and perhaps the only one who captured this rare footage of an wild Panda eating meat…..Methinks you had set your camera at a strategic point and the Panda automatically triggered it as it tripped the electronic trap. Am I right?

  6. Rhea Christie February 23, 2013 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Always adorable. They may be uncommon and elusive in wild, and unfortunately largely due to habitat encroachment. Pandas are such a great ambassadors of nature. The layman will easily associate nature through Pandas. Nice note.

  7. Jagdish Mittal February 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    Extremely nice and very cute video worth appreciable for its photography.

  8. Candice Gaukel Andrews February 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Dear Professor Parthasarathi Chattopadhyay,

    I only wish I could report that I had personally captured the footage! The camera was set up by staff at the Wanglong Nature Reserve in southwest Sichuan province.

    Thanks for your comment.

    — C.G.A.

  9. ling xiang February 26, 2013 at 7:55 am - Reply

    I have visited most of the panda bases/ habitats in Sichuan, that is a great privilege for the locals. :-D The giant panda has a very mini baby, and this cute creature is also a good mentor to teach us how to become a lovely vegetarian with the inner peace of Zen spirit, despite they also interest in meat,e.g. spicy sausages, chickens, lambs. P.S. Giant pandas often occupy the most beautiful valleys surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of over 4000m above the sea level,where is well-known as the Oriental Alps.

  10. Manisha Dubey February 26, 2013 at 7:56 am - Reply

    You so Lucky Ling that You got the chance to meet such a lovely Creature of this Earth!

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